HC Deb 20 February 1900 vol 79 cc599-699
*MR. D. A. THOMAS () Merthyr Tydvil

A charge very often urged against discussions initiated by private Members on Tuesday afternoons is that such discussions are not of sufficient general interest to occupy the time of the House, that they are often academical in character, and that they are of no practical value. I do not think that that charge can fairly be brought against the subject-matter of the motion I have to move this afternoon. The general interest within the House is evidenced by the crowded appearance of the Benches at present. The First Lord of the Treasury has acknowledged the interest taken in this motion by reserving this day for the general massacre of private Members' Tuesdays. I should like to take this, the very earliest opportunity, of apologising to the right hon. Gentleman for what he evidently thought was a charge against him of breach of faith just now. I can assure him there is no man on either side of the House in whose faith I place greater confidence. If anything were wanted to add interest to this discussion it is the fact that the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary has reserved until to-day the reply he proposed to make to certain criticisms that were made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouthshire in the debate upon the Address. Here again, before I go further, I would like to say that much of what I have to say this afternoon will be directed personally to the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary. I wish to avoid as much as possible the personal element, but I shall have to say a good deal with regard to the department of the right hon. Gentleman. I desire, therefore, to assure him that, in all I have to say in moving this motion, I am not actuated by any curiosity, spiteful or otherwise, or by any personal animosity towards himself. In fact, for many qualities in his character I have the greatest admiration, and I am sure the hon. Member for Cardiff will bear me out that upon more than one occasion I have felt it necessary to defend the right hon. Gentleman against accusations brought by those on his own side. I say that the interest taken in this motion inside the House is very largely recognised by all members on the one side or on the other, whether they agree with me in the motion or not. As to the interest taken outside the House, that also is indisputable. There can be no question that the inconclusive and feeble character of the report of the Select Committee of 1897 created in the public mind a sense of disappointment, and that sense of disappointment deepened into a sense of lively disgust when it was found that, feeble as the conclusions of that report were, those conclusions were not followed by any action on the part of the responsible Government of the day. That feeling outside, which I maintain has never-wavered, has deepened into a sense of the most profound indignation—["No, no"]—I say it deepened into a sense of profound indignation when the disclosures were made public by the Independance Belge, a newspaper of unquestionable character. I see the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary smiles at that. I do not know what is in his mind, but I should like to say, in passing, that we are not concerned as to the means by which these disclosures were obtained. That is a matter which may concern very deeply others, but I do not think it concerns this House. The fact we have to consider here is that these disclosures have been made public—not, perhaps, as widely public as they might have been, but still public—and what we are concerned with is not as to how the documents were obtained from Mr. Hawksley, but as to whether they are authentic or not. The right hon. Gentleman smiles, but he has admitted that some of these documents at any rate are not only authentic, that the letters from Mr. Fairfield to Mr. Hawksley may not be absolutely accurate, but they are substantially so, and that they were written under his instructions. I say that these disclosures lend additional colour to the suspicions that are so widely rife, and, more than that, I say they impugn very seriously the impartiality of the Committee that was appointed in 1897, and, in so doing, they reflect upon the character and reputation of this House, and through this House upon the character and honour of the nation. In moving this resolution I take my stand upon that ground, and that ground alone, that the honour and reputation of this House and the character of this country are involved in the disclosures that have been made. Under these circumstances, I maintain it is in the interests of the nation, of this House, and of the right hon. Gentleman himself that there should be not such an inquiry as was instituted in 1897, but a full and searching inquiry by some impartial and independent tribunal, so as to lay for ever at rest, one way or the other, the suspicions, imputations and allegations which have been levelled against the right hon. Gentleman and his Department. One of the most serious of the allegations is that the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary and the Department of which he is the head were implicated and involved in the conspiracy that eventuated in that piece of criminal folly, the Jameson raid. The right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury has described that as a most unfortunate and ill-omened enterprise. I think we may go a good deal further and speak of it as a miserable and contemptible piece of business, which to-day no one in the House and no reasonable being in the country would be found to justify or to even condone. I wish to separate entirely this discussion from what is going on in South Africa at present, but unquestionably the importance of probing to the very root of this matter is that in the minds, at any rate of a large section of the public, is the opinion that that miserable and contemptible piece of business is largely responsible for the position in which we find ourselves to-day in South Africa. The right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury has admitted that that business hampered the Government at every turn, that it tied their hands and closed their mouths, and that they were helpless in the face of the argument grounded on the raid. But wish to avoid as far as possible associating the position in South Africa to-day and the motion I am bringing forward. I think, however, I am entitled to say that having regard to the suspicions that existed in the minds of the Government of the South African Republic that the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary was deeply implicated in the raid, it is very unfortunate and I know that this opinion is not confined to this side of the House, but is largely shared by hon. Members on the other side of the House- ["No, no!"]—I know they are not likely to give it expression; one hon. Member, Sir Edward Clarke, did give expression to it, and he is no longer a Member of the House. That, of course, is a warning to them; but I know that in Unionist circles the opinion is largely shared that it is unfortunate that the negotiations preceding the war in which we are now engaged were not conducted by the Foreign Office and Lord Salisbury. ["Oh, oh! "J They should have been conducted through that Department; they more properly fell within the scope of the Foreign Office, where they would have been conducted by Lord Salisbury, against whom there was no suspicion, and not by the Colonial Secretary, against whom there was the gravest suspicion. If that had been the case, I think it is very likely we should not have found ourselves to-day at war with the Transvaal Republic. I make no apology for bringing this question on at the present time. I ground my action upon the conviction that the honour and reputation of this country and of this House are at stake, and I say that the most opportune moment for bringing forward any matter dealing with the honour and reputation of this House is the earliest opportunity upon which it can possibly be brought forward. I wish to support the opportuneness of the motion by a quotation from a speech made by the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary, on the 29th January, 1897 when an Amendment was moved by the hon. Member for Cardiff. I am afraid that I shall have to quote largely from some of the right hon. Gentleman's speeches in the past, and I hope hon. Members will grant me their indulgence. Upon that occasion the Colonial Secretary said— I am glad to know that it is the desire of all sections of this House to do everything in their power to allay the feeling of race animosity in South Africa, and to promote those good relations between the Dutch and the English there without which the peace and prosperity of the country are absolutely impossible. Now, that is my policy, that has been my policy, and that will be my policy consistently so long as I have the honour to hold my present office. I have not always been able to pursue that policy by the same means, but my policy, and the policy anyone in my position must forward, has for its primary object to remove causes of disagreement between the Dutch and English inhabitants of South Africa. In dealing with matters at this juncture I am myself in a difficult position, and I am sure the House will show me every consideration. I am not altogether disinterested. I wish the House to note that last sentence particularly. [Ministerial cries of "Oh, Oh!"] Yes, but I am going to comment upon it. In the same speech the right hon. Gentleman continues— The hon. Member who moved the Amendment referred to rumours current during the last few months with regard to my action and policy previous to the raid. I cannot ignore these rumours, and if there be any person in or out of the House who believes that I knew of the intended raid and was cognisant of that raid beforehand, or that I did not take every step in my power to prevent the raid and to turn it back after it commenced—if there be any such person, then I have, above all persons in the House, the most reason to desire inquiry. But I endeavour to put aside all personal consideration, and must then say to the House, in my position as Colonial Secretary, that undoubtedly the situation in South Africa at the present time gives cause for considerable anxiety. Although the House will be placing a great responsibility upon its shoulders, I believe it will show itself quite able to deal with it in a manner satisfactory to the country, and that this inquiry may, therefore, result in securing that object which we all have at heart, that is, allaying and not increasing the animosity which may at the present time prevail. If that be true then, it is doubly true today. At that time things were rather hanging in the balance and were in a critical stage, but to-day that stage is passed, war has broken out, and no harm can come of it. I say, therefore, that the right hon. Gentleman himself is doubly interested, and if this motion does no good on the ground the right hon. Gentleman mentioned, it can at least do no harm. I believe myself it will do good if a Committee of inquiry is appointed, because by its appointment the Government would show a desire to probe this matter to the bottom, and that can have nothing but a beneficial effect upon those with whom we are engaged in war at the present moment. In asking for this inquiry my task has been rendered far more easy by a precedent of the House of Commons in 1888 which I propose to follow very closely. In 1888, as many hon. Members will remember, there were serious charges made against a Member of this House against the leader of a great and historic party, and it was felt that these charges ought to be inquired into, and ought not to be allowed to go unanswered for the reputation of the House itself. The Bill was called the Charges and Allegations Bill. If it was important in the mind of the Government of the day, and in the mind of the Colonial Secretary, that those allegations and charges against a private Member should be inquired into and set at rest one way or the other, it is far more important that the charges and suspicions that are rife and rampant with regard to the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary should he inquired into. Mr. Parnell was only a private Member of this House, but the right hon. Gentleman occupies a far different position. He is not only a member of the Cabinet, but a very prominent and leading member of the Cabinet. I say again that my task has been rendered more easy by what was said upon that occasion, and by the precedent set up which was so eloquently supported by the right hon. Gentleman himself. The quotations I shall have to make from the right hon. Gentleman will shorten my speech, because he is a master of language, and he is able to express what I should like to express so much more eloquently than I could hope to do that I propose adopting his words as my own, only acknowledging my indebtedness to him whenever I do so. Following the precedent referred to, I must not prejudge the case. I am asking for an inquiry, and I do not desire to express any opinion as to whether the charges and allegations made are true or not. I express no opinion upon that. Not only must I not prejudge the case, but I must not specify the charges. [Ministerial cries of "Oh, oh!" and "Why?"] Hon. Members opposite think I ought to, but I told them I intended to follow the precedent of 1888. If hon. Members will kindly not interrupt me I will tell them why, according to that precedent, I must not specify the charges. Upon that occasion the right hon. Gentleman said that the Government must not specify the charges because that would make them a party to the indictment. But although I do not specify the charges, I wish to say this—I want to be quite fair to the right hon. Gentleman. [Ministerial laughter.] Do hon. Members opposite question my intention? [Cries of "Yes!"] I wish to be fair, and although I believe from the evidence of the Colonial Office itself that it has been amply proved that that Department—and presumably the right hon. Gentleman himself—knew of the conspiracy in Johannesburg, and felt that a rebellion was imminent and that it might take place any day or any week, I will say this, that I do not consider, as far as the evidence which was produced before the inquiry of 1897 went, that there is any proof whatever that the right hon. Gentleman knew of the actual raid or that it was going to take place. It is enough for my purpose to say that there are grave suspicions anent the Colonial Office. The right hon. Gentleman himself has admitted them, and the First Lord of the Treasury has also admitted them by his speech at Manchester, which, if it means anything at all, must mean that there are suspicions in connection with the raid so strong as to hamper the action of the Government. Ministerial cries of "No. no!"] Hon. Members opposite will have an opportunity of replying. I say it is enough for me that suspicion is widely life in the country at the present time, and that there are reasonable grounds for the suspicion that the Colonial Secretary knew a great deal more about that conspiracy than has been made public. [Ministerial interruptions.] I ask the indulgence of the House, but I can assure hon. Members opposite that I am not going to be deterred from saying what I have to say by any interruptions they may make. It may be said that we have had an inquiry. The right hon. Gentleman himself has argued so. He said it was an impartial inquiry, and that the whole thing had for ever been set at rest. I consider that the inquiry of 1897 was very little better than a farce, and it was not impartial. The Colonial Secretary has spoken of it as an impartial inquiry, but the letters published in a Belgian paper the other day have very seriously impugned the impartiality of that inquiry. I do not see the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary in his place, but I will ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether the inquiry of 1897 was such an inquiry as was promised to the House, and whether it was such an inquiry as was promised to President Kruger. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman himself will deny that the fullest possible inquiry was promised to President Kruger, and I ask him, after the way in which that promise was carried out, can we wonder at the suspicion that rests in the mind of the Government of the Transvaal as to the bona fides of the present Government? Why, as a matter of fact, Earl Grey was not called at that inquiry, and Dr. Harris, when he was recalled, was away somewhere and could not be found. Mr. Hawksley refused to give certain evidence, and it seems to me that some members of the Committee considered it to be their function not to elicit evidence, but to assist witnesses in withholding evidence. The right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary has seen the cablegrams not produced, and has admitted that they contain implications of complicity; and yet, Sir, when Mr. Hawksley withheld them, nothing was done. He was allowed to flout the Committee, and to say he did not recognise its judicial character, he was not called to the Bar of the House, and he has been allowed to do what he pleased ever since. Then, again, the fresh facts which have been produced by the Independance Belge constitute a very strong ground for a fresh and entirely now inquiry. I have heard the Report of the Committee referred to as a unanimous Report. In the first place, only ten members voted for the final Report, and within a fortnight four of those appeared in this House to show dissatisfaction at no action whatever having followed the Report, and only six members who voted for the Report were satisfied with what was done within a fortnight afterwards. That may be an excellent argument for not taking action on the Report, but it is a very much stronger argument for having a fresh inquiry. Then the very gravest doubts have been thrown on the impartiality of the Committee. The right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary has described the inquiry as impartial, but we find that Mr. Hawksley, the solicitor for those on their defence, had a great deal to do with the empanelling of this Committee. In a letter written by Mr. Hawksley to Mr. Fairfield he says— I suppose it will be possible for the views of the directors to be to some extent considered in appointing some of the members? In this case, may I. suggest the names of Mr. Carson, Q. C., Mr. A. C. Cripps, Q. C., and Mr. George Wyndham? Will it be possible to have an opportunity of discussing with you the terms of the reference to the Select Committee? Then there is a telegram from Mr. Hawksley to Mr. Beit— Doing all possible to secure Wyndham as well as Chartered nominee. I do not know whether there is any evidence to show who the Chartered nominee was, but of course the Mr. Wyndham referred to is the Under Secre- tary of State for War, who was afterwards a member of the Committee. Then there is a telegram from Mr. Hawksley to Mr. Fairfield— Best thanks for note and all your trouble-Let me know any difficulties or change as to constitution of Committee. Could call this afternoon if desired. What was all this trouble that Mr. Fairfield was taking at the Colonial Office, where he had charge of the South African department? I maintian that these communications show that Mr. Hawksley had a great deal to do—I will not say with packing the jury—but certainly he had a great deal to do with the empanelling of the Committee; and not only had he—the solicitor for the defence—a great deal to do with the selection of the Committee, but he was in touch during the whole time with some of its members. Here is a telegram from Dr. Jameson to Mr. Hawksley while the Committee was sitting— Had an hour with Johnny. He will be all right. Wyndham promises not to leave it till he succeeds. I do not know who "Johnny" was. I am told it is a generic name—a kind of term of endearment. It has been suggested to me that "Johnny" was Sir John Willoughby. In that case he was one of the witnesses, and it seems there must have been grave doubt as to whether he was going to prove loyal to his fellow-conspirators. I do not know whether Mr. Wyndham succeeded or not, but we know that the Under Secretary for War was the only member of the Committee who voted against the final Report, and he has since stated that he did so on the ground that Mr. Rhodes was too strongly condemned in it. There is a letter from; another "Johnny" which shows that some members of the Committee were in touch with the conspirators and with their solicitor. This "Johnny" writes— The Committee meet (privately) at 4.30 in Colonel Legge's room, and I could see Mr. Leonard immediately after the meeting breaks up. I wonder what would be thought of a judge of the High Court who, before the court sat, wrote a private letter to the solicitor for the defendants, saying, "I should like to see you after the court rises in my private room." Mr. Justice Bigham wrote the letter I have quoted. I contend, and contend very strongly, that that shows that the Committee was not an impartial Committee. I may be told it was not intended to be impartial, that it was arranged between the two front benches or behind the Speaker's chair, that it was intended that a gentleman on one side should be set against another gentleman on the other. I am not concerned, and I do not think the House or the country is concerned with the front benches in this matter. One of our objections is that the Committee had rather too much front bench representation on it. There are very able and prominent men on our front benches; but, like most good things, we can hare too much of them, and we had too much of them on that Committee, especially as they have a way of sticking up for one another. After all, it was not Mr. Rhodes, but the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary who was the chief defendant. Now, I wish to say a word or two about the right hon. Gentleman's position on that Committee. I maintain that, as defendant-in-chief he ought never to have been on the Committee, and on that ground alone the Committee is condemned as an impartial Committee. The Committee devoted an unnecessarily long time to re-condemning Mr. Rhodes. He had already been condemned by the Cape inquiry. He himself admitted that the report of that inquiry was a fair one, and the Committee of this House embodied a very large portion of it in the report they subsequently made to this House. When the precedent which I am endeavouring to follow—that of 1888—was being considered by the House the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary said— In one sense the objection to a Committee would be very strong. A Committee of this House would have to be judge and jury. I maintain that the objection to the Committee of 1897 was very much stronger, for it was not only judge and jury, but judge, jury, and defendants all rolled into one. I daresay the right hon. Gentleman may say, "Oh, I was asked to go on, and was urged and pressed by right hon. Gentlemen opposite." That may be a very good answer to anything that may be said from the front bench on this side, but it is no answer at all to hon. Members behind that bench or to the country when a charge is made that this Committee was not impartial. I say the right hon. Gentlemen ought never to have been on the Committee, and the hon. Gentleman the Member for Northampton ought never to have been on it. The right hon. Gentleman was a defendant and the hon. Member for Northampton unquestionably was biassed before he went on the Committee. One point I would urge as justifying the strong suspicions that are entertained. There is a vast deal of mystery behind the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Colonies in connection with his action on the Committee. On July 13th the right hon. Gentleman was a party to a Report which not only acquitted the Colonial Secretary of having had anything to do with the raid, but also condemned Mr. Rhodes in the strongest terms. I hope the House will give me their attention, because I want to make this point clearly. [An HON. MEMBER laughed.] Hon. Gentlemen may laugh, but I think they will find that their constituents do not consider this a laughing matter. There is some extraordinary mystery attaching to the peculiar code of honour—or I will say the peculiar code of ethics—of the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary. On July 13th he was a party to a Report which; said— He [Mr. Rhodes] deceived the High Commissioner representing the Imperial Government. He concealed his views from his colleagues in the Colonial Ministry and from the board of the British South Africa Company, and led his subordinates to believe that his plans were approved by his superiors. On the 13th July the right hon. Gentleman charged Mr. Rhodes with the grossest deceit. It must be remembered that Mr. Rhodes was a Privy Councillor, that he was Prime Minister at the Cape, and that he was a director of the Chartered Company, Within a fortnight., however, the right hon. Gentleman states-in the House— But as to one thing I am perfectly convinced—that while the fault of Mr. Rhodes is about as great a fault as a politician or a statesman can commit, there has been nothing proved—and, in my opinion, there exists nothing—which affects Mr. Rhodes's personal position as a man of honour. It is said by some Members who take a different view that he deceived this person and that person. That is perfectly true, but that is part of the original offence. If a man goes into a revolution he may be right or he may be wrong. In this case Mr. Rhodes was wrong. But if a man goes into a revolution it follows as a matter of course that he must deceive other people. He cannot proclaim his intentions from the house-tops," etc. And then the right hon. Gentleman goes on to say— Therefore, as far as I am concerned, in considering the position of Mr. Rhodes I dismiss absolutely those charges which affect his personal honour. Now, Mr. Speaker, let us consider this for a moment. Mr. Rhodes had deceived the High Commissioner of Cape Colony, he had deceived his colleagues in the Cape Ministry, he had deceived the Government here, and, of course, he had deceived the Chartered Company. If it is not dishonourable for a Prime Minister to deceive his colleagues in his Ministry, is it any more dishonourable for a Colonial Secretary to deceive his colleagues? The right hon. Gentleman says that all this arose from the original offence. Well, I have heard of the end justifying the means, but I never heard of the beginning justifying the means: only make a mistake in the beginning, says the right hon. Gentleman, in effect, and you may commit any dishonourable action you please afterwards, and it will not affect your personal honour. The right hon. Gentleman says that if a man goes into a revolution he may be right or he may be wrong: but if he docs, it follows that he must deceive other people and that he would not proclaim his intentions from the house-tops. Well, no one can complain that the Colonial Secretary published from the house-tops his knowledge of the revolution contemplated or the plot for such a revolution, although he knew that it might lead to civil war in South Africa. Of course, I admit that a revolution cannot be made with rosewater, and that Mr. Rhodes would conceal his intentions from those against whom the revolution was directed. But I want the House to discriminate. The charge against Mr. Rhodes—which, I say, involves a charge of the grossest dishonour—is that he deceived not so much those against whom the conspiracy was directed, but that he deceived his Queen, his colleagues in his Ministry, the shareholders of the Chartered Company—those who had put him in a position of trust. That involves a very wide difference, and if the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary honours me with a reply, I hope he will do something to justify to the House and the country his exculpation of Mr. Rhodes. (Laughter.) Hon. Members may think this a laughing matter, but I feel deeply on the matter. Since I have been in this House, and that is now twelve years, there has been no matter upon which I have felt so deeply as I do upon this. I have said that the suspicions which are so rife that the Colonial Office were privy to much that was going on at the close of 1895 are not unreasonable; I go further, and say there is strong ground for them. Sir John Willoughby, whom I am sure everyone regards as a truthful and honourable man, wrote a letter in March or April, 1896, to Sir Redvers Buller, in which he said that he "took part in the preparation of the military expedition, and went into the Transvaal in pursuance of orders received from the administrator of Matabeleland, and in the honest and bona fide belief that these steps were taken with the knowledge and consent of the Imperial authorities. I was informed by Dr. Jameson that this was the fact. And in answer to a question at the inquiry he said— It appeared in the evidence that certain Imperial authorities knew what was occurring I say that when a man in Sir John Willoughby's position makes that charge, there is certainly ground for suspicion. He, however, on the first day, April 6, refused to answer certain questions, and then on April 7 Mr. Hawksley wires to Sir John Willoughby— Could you and the Doctor come to me here at or after four? We ought, in anticipation of consultation to-morrow, to have strict business talk without interruption by others. I think I see my way out. Well, apparently he did see the way out, and answered questions and gave explanations. There is nothing new in all this, but I refer to it in order to enforce my argument. Then Miss Flora Shaw, telegraphing in code on December 17 to Mr. Rhodes, said— Chamberlain sound in case of interference by European Powers, but have special reason to believe wishes you must do it immediately. After that she had a conversation with Mr. Fairfield. Of course Mr. Fairfield is dead, and "dead men tell no tales."


Dead men cannot reply.


The right hon. Gentleman says dead men cannot reply, but neither can dead men give evidence. Miss Shaw said that Mr. Fairfield told her, "If the Johannesburg burghers are going to rise, it is to be hoped that they will do it soon." There are many other telegrams between Mr. Rhodes and Miss Shaw, but what I have said is sufficient to justify me in maintaining that there are strong and reasonable grounds for the suspicions which are so largely entertained in the public mind. I thank the House for the indulgence which has been shown mo. I have occupied the time of the House far longer than I intended when I got up. I conclude by quoting from a speech made by the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary. On 24th July, 1888, the right hon. Gentleman eloquently demanded an inquiry into an allegation made against the hon. Member for Cork, in the course of which he said— Now we will test that, and we will take the test which is put by my hon. friend the Member for Bedford, namely, that we have no right to ask the hon. Member for Cork to undergo any inquiry which we would not invite ourselves to accept for ourselves. The hon. Member for Cork is charged with these offences in The Times. Suppose a charge of that kind had been brought against me by The Times newspaper, does anyone in this House believe that under those circumstances I would not have gone to a jury? Does anyone believe that under those circumstances I would not advise a friend to go to a jury? [An HON. MEMBER: Suppose it were against United Ireland?] An hon. Member says, ' United Ireland.' I do not think it at all improbable that United Ireland may slander or libel me; but if it does, I will go to a jury. [An. HON. MEMBER: In Dublin?] Even then I would go to a jury. Finally, I will quote words of the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary, uttered on the same day, which I propose to adopt as my own— The matter is in the hands of the House of Commons, and it is the honour and the dignity and the character of the House of Commons which are at stake. It seems to me that in the interest of the House of Commons, in the interest of the public, in the interest of the hon. Member who has laboured so long under these imputations, we are bound, without reference to the Government, to take this matter in hand, and to say, whatever it may cost in the way of time and labour, whatever may be the disadvantages to public business, 'We are bound to take this matter in hand and carry it through, we are bound to secure that there shall be the fullest and most complete and most satisfactory investigation into the terrible charges which have been allowed to hang so long over the heads of public men.' I beg to move the resolution standing in my name.

*MR. S. T. EVANS () Glamorganshire, Mid

I also desire to appeal to the indulgence of the House in seconding this resolution. I shall do so as shortly and concisely as I possibly can, as I feel it is only fair to the right hon. the Colonial Secretary, who is chiefly concerned in this matter, that he should have as good an opportunity and as favourable a time as possible to lay his reply before the House of Commons. But it will be necessary for me to go to some extent into the history of this matter, because, I regret to say at the outset, there are some portions of the speech of the hon. Member who moved the resolution with which I cannot agree. I hope, however, to make the case for a full inquiry perfectly clear to the House. Now, in view of the deplorable events which took place in South Africa in the last few days of 1895, the Government had no alternative but to offer to this House, to the nation, to South Africa, and to the whole world, an inquiry into those events and into the circumstances which led up to them. Accordingly a promise was made in the most solemn form in which a promise can be made, namely, in the Speech from the Throne, that there should be a searching" inquiry. A solemn promise was also made to the other party most affected, President Kruger, that the inquiry should be the, "fullest possible inquiry." Now, I admit that the groundwork of the motion which I have undertaken to second is that there still remains something to be done to fulfil the pledges which were so given. The tragic and calamitous results which followed, as the direct and almost inevitable consequences, from the proceedings which led up to the raid, and from the raid itself, so far from superseding the necessity for further inquiry, enhance that necessity and make further inquiry a sacred duty on the part of the House of Commons. I shall not detain the House by discussing whether or not this is an opportune time for bringing on this motion. It is the first time this session that we have had an opportunity of making such a motion, and I do not think the right hon. the Colonial Secretary himself, who is nothing if not courageous, will complain of the motion being brought forward at this time, because he has said that criticism can do no harm now that affairs in South Africa have gone out of the hands of politicians into the hands of the military. I do not conceal from the House the gravity of this motion, affecting as it does the credit and reputation of a Minister of the Crown holding high office in the State and of the Department over which he presides, involving the honour of the House of Commons, and touching the good faith of the British nation itself. Anyone therefore who undertakes to move or second such a resolution is bound to lay before the House of Commons a strong and cogent case in favour of the adoption of the motion. Now, was the work of the South African Committee searching, and was it complete? Did it satisfy and discharge the promise given by the Secretary of State when he undertook that there should be the fullest possible inquiry? It is admitted that the work of the South African Committee was not complete; it is admitted that the second part of the reference, a portion of their duty which they were called upon by the House of Commons to perform, was not proceeded with; it is admitted that the Committee did not ask for or recommend their reappointment in the following session—a matter which occasioned no little surprise. But it is not on these grounds alone that I ask the House of Commons to agree to this motion; but chiefly in order that the most important matter which the Committee had to impure into should be searched and probed to the bottom, viz., the national and international question of the position or relationship of the Colonial Secretary and of the Colonial Office with regard to the conspiracy against the Government of the Transvaal in the latter half of the year 1895. My hon. friend said he would not state the charges against the right hon. Gentleman, but I think it is only fair to state them. My hon. friend said the charges were made before the Committee; but it is necessary that they should also be made in this House, and the charges I make against the right hon. Gentleman are, that there are strong grounds for the suspicion and suggestion that the Colonial Office and the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary had some knowledge of the events of the latter part of the year 1895 which led up to and culminated in the raid. Let me make my position perfectly clear. I do not say the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary is guilty; I do not say he had any knowledge; I have no right to say so. The Committee, so far as their deliberations went, and so far as they investigated the matter, exonerated the right hon. Gentleman, and he has been exonerated by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouth, and by the present Leader of the Opposition; therefore it is not right for us to say that he is guilty. But what we do say is that we can point out to the House certain things which make it not unreasonable for people in the country—which is after all the important thing—to believe that there is some truth in the rumours which have been floating about. It is beyond doubt that it was intended and expected that the Committee should inquire into the question to which I have referred. Special mention was made of it in this House before the Committee was reappointed in 1897, when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouthshire, speaking on the 29th of January, said— The inquiry at the Cape professed to be, and was, merely an inquiry into how far the Colonial authorities at the Cape were in any degree mixed up with, or responsible for, this matter, and the finding of that committee confined itself explicitly to persons in that relation. But that is not the question which, according to the Speech from the Throne, we were to inquire into. We were to inquire into the relations of the Empire in these transactions, and in regard to its relations to the other States who might be affected by it. That was a matter therefore which was in the mind of the House when the Committee was appointed. That was what the Committee was called upon to do, and they met in order to perform that work. I make no charge whatever of any want of impartiality against the personnel of the Committee. No such charges can be made, in my opinion, against any Member of the House who was then a member of the Committee. I do not believe in the alleged eonspiracy amongst the members of the Committee to hush up the inquiry, and I accept fully the statement made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouthshire in this House on the 5th February last, when he said— It has been suggested that members of that Committee had some object in not pursuing those investigations, that they deliberately hushed them up. Well I speak for myself, but I believe no member of that Committee ever had such an idea in his head, or ever acted upon it. But in that speech he made a further statement which, I think, deserves to be recalled here and to receive serious consideration by this House. He said— The authors of the raid had influence enough in this House, and out of this House, to have prevented the reappointment of that Committee eight months later. Is that true? Will the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Colonies deny that that is true?


Yes, certainly I will. Of course it is a matter of opinion, but that is not my opinion; my opinion is that the majority of the House could not be influenced in the manner the hon. Gentleman suggests.


The question is not whether the majority of this House could be influenced; the question is whether the authors of the raid and others interested in the raid had sufficient influence in this House and power elsewhere to prevent the majority of the House having an opportunity of deciding the matter. I do not think my right hon. friend referred to the majority.


May I ask the hon. Member to repeat that sentence? do not understand what he means. Does he suppose the Chartered Company had influence which could have affected the proceedings in this House in the reappointment of the Committee?


Probably everybody in the House understands except the right hon. Gentleman. Nobody finds it so difficult to understand as those who do not wish to. There might be influence brought to bear which might cause the Government to abstain from proposing or asking for the re-appointment of the Committee. That statement, I hope, is explicit enough even for the right hon. Gentleman. So far as I am aware, there is no difference of opinion, at any rate on this side of the House, as to the necessity in the public interest of reopening the inquiry. We do not say what the form of the inquiry should be or when the inquiry shall take place—that is for the Government to say; but what we think is, and my proposition is, that the investigations of the Committee of 1897 were not exhaustive; that they had not the materials before them to enable or entitle them to say that their Report should be accepted as final. The conclusions of that Report might have been different if there had been a fuller and more thorough investigation and a complete disclosure of all the materials which might have been laid before the Committee. Can it be doubted that there do exist strong grounds for suspicion that there was a knowledge of this conspiracy in the Colonial Office? I propose to state to the House what I conceive to be the grounds which I am entitled to describe as grounds for grave suspicion. I should be the last person to say that the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary should be called upon to answer any accusation which any newspaper thinks fit to make against him—he would not be able to do anything else if he did; but in this case the circumstances are so grave and the suspicions so generally held that it is due not only to his party but to the House of Commons that he should not only assent to the Committee being reappointed, but insist upon it. First of all I say that the conduct of the Colonial Secretary at the inquiry was such as to give rise to strong suspicions with reference to the relationship of the Colonial Secretary and of the Colonial Office to the conspiracy, which is now acknowledged to have existed for promoting and assisting the revolution for the overthrow of the Government of the Transvaal. In the next place I say there is ground for suspicion arising by reason of many things which the Committee left undone—the complaint is not so much of what they did do, as of what they did not do—and particularly by reason of the failure of the Committee to enforce its own order and call to the Bar of the House of Commons a gentleman who had been guilty of disobedience of the orders and of contumacy towards the Committee. The third ground is the inexplicable, or at all events the unexplained, behaviour of members of the Government after the Committee made its report. And, finally, we are entitled to ask for a further inquiry into this matter because of the new facts since ascertained. My hon. friend the Member for Merthyr referred to a speech made by the Colonial Secretary when he said, in January, 1897— In dealing with matters at this juncture, I am myself in a difficult position, and I am sure the House will show me every consideration. I am not altogether disinterested. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment referred to rumours currant during the last few months with regard to my action and policy previous to the raid. I cannot ignore these rumours, and if there be any person in or out of the House who believes that I knew of the intended raid, or was cognisant of that raid beforehand, or that I did not take every step in my power to prevent the raid and to turn it back after it commenced—if there be any such person, then I have, above all persons in the House, the most reason to desire inquiry. Those observations are as applicable to the state of things now as they were when made in 1897. What was the conduct of the light hon. Gentleman at the Committee? Was it not the duty of the Colonial Office, remembering the chief object for which the Committee was appointed, at once to place before the Committee, not late in the day, but at the very earliest moment, all the information at their disposal, and particularly every scrap of paper, relevant and material, which was in the pigeon-holes of the Colonial Office? The House will remember that one or two memoranda were produced by the right hon. Gentleman in the middle of the evidence. He produced them because he thought they supported his theory, but if some memoranda were produced, why not all? Why keep back other documents such as communications with the High Commissioner of South Africa, and with Mr. Hawksley, a solicitor of the City of London, to whom I will refer more specifically in a moment? It is not surprising that rumours floated about as to the complicity of the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary. The House, remembering the disclosed facts alone, will say they were, until explained, sufficient to engender doubt and suspicion in the minds of reasonable men. Let me remind the House of some of the hare facts. It is admitted that Dr. Jameson and Mr. Rhodes had a plan for assisting the revolutionists in Johannnesburg, and it is common knowledge that there were frequent visits to the Colonial Office by Lord Grey, a director of the Chartered Company, Dr. Harris, the Secretary of the company, and Mr. Rhodes's private secretary, Mr. Hawksley, the solicitor of the company, and Miss Flora Shaw, the confidential adviser of Mr. Rhodes and colonial correspondent of The Times. It is admitted that visits were made to the Colonial Office by these people, who had knowledge of the conspiracy. Were not these visits in themselves enough to raise a suspicion in the minds of reasonable men? But the matter does not rest there. The Colonial Secretary, after having said at this time that he refused to give to Mr. Rhodes, for two years, a strip of land all along and coterminous with the Bechuana boundary of the Transvaal for the purpose of a railway, shortly afterwards and suddenly granted that strip of land, which is ten miles wide, to the Chartered Company. I should like to know what was it, in the state of things which then existed, that made the right hon. Gentleman first refuse to give that strip of land for two years, and what was it, in the state of things immediately afterwards, that induced him to concede it to Mr. Rhodes, and at the same time to hand the Bechuanaland police over to the Chartered Company. The right hon. Gentleman prides himself on being able to make good bargains, and there was one extraordinary passage of arms between him and Mr. Rhodes with regard to the cession of the territory and with regard to the handing over of the police. The House will see it at question 2044 in the Blue-book. Mr. Rhodes was cross-examined by the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary—who, probably, without the training usually considered necessary for the purpose, was the best cross-examiner, if he bent his energies to the matter, who was on the Committee—as follows— 2044.—The cession, besides being advantageous to the chiefs, was not disadvantageous, I think, to the British Government?—You saved the whole cost of the police. 2045.—We saved the cost of the police, which I think amounted at that time to £ 40,000 a year?—I thought it was £ 00,000. 2046.—We also saved, did we not, or were to save if the agreement had been carried out, £ 200,000, which had been promised to you by my predecessor as a subsidy for the railway?—Yes, you made a most excellent bargain. 2047.—And perhaps you were the more ready to make a good bargain because you had some other views?—I am afraid you took advantage of them. No one would see the importance of an observation of that kind more quickly than the right hon. Gentleman, but he passes it over in silence and makes at once a complete transition from this part of the cross-examination to another. What one would have expected would be that Mr. Rhodes would have been asked for an explanation of his extraordinary and suggestive answer. But the next question is: "Now I come to what you have told me about the causes of discontent in Johannesburg"—dropping the matter quickly and suddenly, never to return to it. I will now resume the statement of the admitted facts which give rise to suspicion. There was knowledge of the intended rising in South Africa. The right hon. Gentleman knew it, Lord Selborne knew it. They did not take quite the same view of it. The right hon. Gentleman thought such a rising would be an "absolutely bloodless revolution." Lord Selborne thought there would be "civil war throughout South Africa." If this latter was the view of the Colonial Office, no stone ought to have been left unturned to try and stop the revolution. The Colonial Office were in communication with Mr. Rhodes, and the right hon. Gentleman's own case is that Mr. Fairfield was an honourable man who would have told him all he knew about the matter. It is clear from what has developed since that the cables to Mr. Rhodes in South Africa were actually settled in consultation. "They were settled," says Mr. Hawksley in his letter to Mr. Maguire of the 19th February, 1897, "in consultation." I pass quickly over the other facts. There was a tragedy of errors. Mr. Fairfield was deaf, he did not understand; the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary did not guess what was going on; Dr. Harris misunderstood; Mr. Hawksley misconceived; Miss Flora Shaw assumed; Mr. Rhodes misled himself and other people. That is a bare statement of facts, but I submit to the House it is an accurate statement. And is it to be wondered at when these facts are so, and are admitted, that people in the country, and not only here, but abroad, over the whole world, thought there was something which had not come to light? The general result was inevitable, and such as made the amplest and earliest disclosure of all documents necessary in the interest of the Colonial Secretary himself and of the Colonial Office. Under the circumstances I will not go fully into other conduct of the right hon. Gentleman on the Committee except to say this: he interposed at the very commencement of Dr. Harris's evidence immediately a statement was made which might be considered prejudicial. That is not the way to take evidence. Let the witness be cross-examined, and then let the witness who is against him, when his turn comes, go into the box. Almost immediately Dr. Harris had given the first part of his story, the right hon. Gentleman insisted on his right to go into the box to give his version. Nobody expected that afterwards Dr. Harris would give a full account. Moreover the right hon. Gentleman did not insist on the production of the Hawksley telegrams, and he did not produce the Hawksley correspondence. I desire to ask the right hon. Gentleman one or two definite questions. Is it the fact that there is in the Colonial Office a letter of Mr. Hawksleys—not a mere covering letter setting out in considerable detail what he considered to be the facts? The House is entitled to know whether there is any correspondence in the Colonial Office between Mr. Hawksley and the Colonial Secretary, at the time of or following upon the production of the cablegrams to the Colonial Secretary. The right hon. Gentleman may say he was only one member of the Committee, and it was not his business to insist on the production of the telegrams. This is the account of the matter in the Blue-book. At question 9584 my right hon. friend, in answer to my friend the hon. Member for Northampton, says— 9584.—I suppose you would like these telegrams to appear?—I really am quite indifferent. 9585.—Would you apply to Mr. Rhodes as Colonial Secretary"—I do not think I have any right to approach him as Colonial Secretary in such a matter. 9586.—Or in your individual capacity?—I do not think he would pay the least attention to me; if for any reason he desires not to produce them, I think he would not be influenced by my request. 9587.—Would you mind making it?—No, I should not mind making it. 9588.—Then you will make it?—No, that is a different thing; I say I should not mind making it; I do not say I will make it. 9589.—You have no objection to making it?—Not the least. Was it not the duty of the right hon. Gentleman as a member of the Committee to have insisted on these cablegrams being produced? When he himself wanted to see the cablegrams he was not so indifferent to their production. The right hon. Gentleman said in the Committee:— When I heard again rumours which were current in London at that time about the existence of these telegrams, and about their containing something very important indeed, I determined that I would see exactly what was in them, and accordingly I instructed Mr. Fairfield to insist on their production. When the Colonial Secretary desired to see the telegrams himself, he "insisted"; in the Committee he was "quite indifferent." Let me now pass to what the Committee did not do. First of all the Committee allowed Mr. Rhodes to refuse to answer any questions as to the cablegrams at all, and, indeed, there was a positive refusal on the part of Mr. Rhodes to impart any information to the Committee about the cablegrams. Secondly, it did not recall Mr. Rhodes in reference to the cablegrams after some of them were produced by the Telegraph Company. In the third place it did not cross-examine the Colonial Secretary. There are 535 pages of evidence in this Blue-book, and there are only five and a-half pages of his evidence. Mr. Rhodes was asked over 2,000 questions, the Colonial Secretary less than forty, and twenty-six of these were put by the hon. Member for Northampton. In the fourth place the Committee did not call Lord Grey, who was an active negotiator in this business and an officer of the Chartered Company, the conduct of whose business was being inquired into by this Committee. He had been in direct communication with the Colonial Secretary. It is true the Committee, with great show, issued a summons to Dr. Harris to explain the telegrams; but the opportunity to do so was never given, the Chairman saying that the Committee had been unable to find his address, and the Committee never saw him again, and never had his explanation. And, fifthly, there was the most extraordinary conduct on the part of any Parliamentary Committee that ever was appointed, in their failure to report Mr. Hawksley to this House for disobedience to the order of the Committee to produce the telegrams. At page 473 of the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee, the House will see what was done. Mr. Hawksley was given time to obey the Committee's instructions. He was allowed some days in which to make up his mind, and then the Attorney General delivered the judgment of the Committee in regard to whether these telegrams were privileged—a question which had been raised by some over-subtle mind. The Attorney General concluded his opinion to the Committee in this way— "It is not disputed that the telegrams are relevant; it is not disputed that if Mr. Rhodes had been here no privilege could have been claimed by him. It has been clearly decided that as against a court of law, and as against, therefore, a Parliamentary Committee, the privilege of a solicitor is that of a client; and that unless the client could have refused the solicitor cannot refuse to produce. Under these circumstances the Committee are clearly of opinion that their order must be obeyed.


We therefore call upon you. Mr. Hawksley, to produce the telegrams."


refuses, and tells the Committee they are not a judicial tribunal. Was there ever such conduct before a Parliamentary Committee?


Of course, we take note of your refusal. We shall report the matter to the House in the ordinary course. We will not go further with you to-day.


I suppose Mr. Hawksley still remains in the box, technically."

And, I suppose, Mr. Hawksley has remained in the box, "technically," ever since. Will it be believed that Mr. Hawksley was allowed to leave the box, or to remain in the box technically, and was not asked a single question about a letter which he wrote to Mr. Fairfield in February, 1896, in which he says "Mr. Chamberlain knows as much as I do, and let him shape his course accordingly"? Will it be believed that Mr. Hawksley was allowed to leave the box as a witness without anybody asking him a question? Why did not the right hon. Gentleman ask him what he meant by that? No such question was asked, and he left the box without being cross-examined at all. What is said in the Report with regard to the failure to summon Mr. Hawksley to the Bar is this: Mr. Hawksley was a poor solicitor, and it is a pity to send Mr. Hawksley to the Clock Tower or to Newgate, because he was acting in the interest of his client. But Mr. Hawksley had been told there was no plea of privilege on which he could rest, and that he must obey the order of the Committee. His offence was disobedience to the order of the Committee, and it is for disobedience I of an order of the Committee that a witness is summoned to the Bar and committed for contempt. What therefore was the real explanation of the Committee changing their minds about reporting Mr. Hawksley to the House? Nothing came out with regard to those telegrams, he did not disclose their contents, and it was left to the right hon. Gentleman to give secondary evidence of the telegrams which could have been produced. If these telegrams were not important, this matter might be allowed to drop. The right hon. Gentleman cannot say they were not important. In his speech on the 26th July, 1897, the Colonial Secretary said What were the telegrams which were produced? They were compromising telegrams. There is no doubt about that. They were telegrams from parties in this country to persons in South Africa, which implied the complicity of the Colonial Office. So do a few of the telegrams—they are a very few so far as my recollection goes—but I have no doubt that among those which were not seen, there are also telegrams implying the complicity of the Colonial Office."—Hansard (51.) 1167. Can anybody say, after that, that it is not important, in the interests of truth and of allaying once for all these rumours about complicity, that these letters and telegrams should be produced? The right hon. Gentleman has said, and will say again, that he himself consented, in a letter which was sent to Mr. Hawksley, to the publication of these letters. Did he know there would be an objection on the other side to their being published? If he did, his consent was not very useful. But what is the use of the right hon. Gentleman telling us he is willing to have them produced? What we want is to have the telegrams produced. What the country demands, and has a right to expect, is that they should be produced. When the hon. Member for Burnley asked for the production of the letters between the right hon. Gentleman and Mr. Hawksley, the right hon. Gentleman said that the hon. Member's spiteful curiosity would not be satisfied, but that those letters would be shown to two right hon. Gentlemen on the front Opposition bench. As a humble Member of the House I protest against any doctrine of that kind being accepted. Some of us remember Mr. Gladstone on one occasion in the most eloquent terms laying down the doctrine that in the House of Commons all the Mem- bers were equal; and everybody who knew the two right hon. Gentlemen on the front Opposition bench knew they would never consent to look at these telegrams and letters on conditions of that kind. What right has the Colonial Secretary to say he will restrict the publication of these documents, which the country has a right to see, and to tell my hon. friend with a sneer that he would produce them to the right hon. Gentlemen, because they were honourable men as well as honourable Members? I have said I did not expect the right hon. Gentleman to attend to or answer ephemeral effusions of daily news-papers, but in regard to this matter there is a solid opinion held by men who set down contemporary history, that the circumstances demand a new inquiry. I hold in my hand the Annual Register of 1897, written by a man of eminence, who does not lean to the politics represented on this side of the House. This is a book to which historians of the future may probably refer in writing their history. What does he say about the cause?— The general feeling was that the proceedings had been conducted with singular laxity, or want of skill. Those interested in keeping secret the true history of the raid were entirely successful, and it was generally by the merest chance that any fact of importance was elicited from the witnesses…. To a very great extent the inquiry had been obviously factitious, but in whose interest concealment was considered necessary remained nndivulged. It was surmised that reasons of State had been found which outweighed party considerations, and that the leaders of the Opposition had been privately convinced that the alleged grounds were sufficient for the course adopted. That is the record he puts down in the Annual Register of 1897. The next ground I see for suspicion is the conduct of members of the Government, and of the Colonial Secretary particularly, after the Report was presented. It may be said that all these matters on which I have touched up to now were matters which existed at the time the Committee reported. But now we come to matters which have happened since, and which amply justify us in demanding further inquiry. The Secretary of State for India, on the 29th July, 1897, made a most important speech, three or four days after the Committee reported, in which he says this— That great Imperial statesman, Mr. Rhodes, had, by a series of able combina- tions, secured British supremacy over a large portion of South Africa. In an unguarded moment he associated himself with a most unfortunate movement. The raid of Dr. Jameson unquestionably set hack for many years the great policy which Mr. Rhodes had spent his life in promoting. The Government felt it their duty to exercise all executive powers at their command for the purpose of stopping the raid, and afterwards of having the fullest and most complete investigation into the origin and causes of the movement. With that inquiry some of the responsible leaders of the Opposition were associated, and they behaved as Englishmen always behaved in positions of responsibility. They sought no party ends, and they declined to push the inquiry to a point which would endanger the supremacy of the British rule in South Africa. What was "the point" to which the inquiry was not pushed? It apparently was known to a Cabinet Minister. Can the House be informed? The Secretary for the Colonies made a speech on 26th July, 1897, which has already been referred to, but to which I must refer again, because it contains one of the most extraordinary passages in the published speeches of any statesman, so far as I am aware, whom this country has ever produced. He himself had signed the Report making most serious charges against Mr. Rhodes. Mr. Rhodes has been attacked. That is not our purpose in this debate. But I am bound to recall to the House what the facts were. He had deceived everybody with whom he had come into connection. He had deceived the High Commissioner, he had deceived his colleagues, he had misled his subordinates, he deceived his co-directors, he altered the date in a letter from November 20th to a month later, and, what is more important, after that letter was recalled by the senders, Mr. Rhodes ordered it to be dated the 28th December, knowing it had been recalled, and sent it to London for publication in The Times newspaper, in order to mislead this country, and to buttress up the raid. I am not mentioning these matters in order to rake up these things against Mr. Rhodes again, but for this reason: The country, out of a sense of justice and fairness to the right hon. Gentleman himself, thinks there is some extraordinary reason for making that speech under the circumstances. To say of a man who is guilty of deceit, false representation, and something very like forgery, that he is nevertheless a man of honour and that his crimes are merely the faults of a politician—this requires explanation. And be it observed this was not a random statement in the heat of debate, but the right hon. Gentleman punctuated what he said about this. He said— But as to one thing I am perfectly convinced, that while the fault of Mr. Rhodes is about as great a fault as a politician or a Statesman can commit, there has been nothing proved—and in my opinion there exists nothing which affects Mr. Rhodes's personal position as a man of honour. If these be the ideas of the Colonial Secretary with regard to public morality, it would be an evil day for this country if he ever were allowed to become the arbiter of our political ethics, or the compiler of our code of honour. I shall not any longer express, or attempt to express, my own individual opinion with regard to this speech of the right hon. Gentleman; I will place myself on firmer ground. I will read a passage, not from a speech delivered on the spur of the moment, but from a book containing the results of the experiences of a long and honoured life, written by a man known all over the world as a historian, and who was—and perhaps is still—a political supporter of the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary. In dealing in this book with what was reported against Mr. Rhodes by the Committee, he comes to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, and there the right hon. Gentleman the junior Member for Dublin University, who is the writer, was afraid to trust himself to express in words what he thought. He says in an interrogatory form— What can be thought of the language of a Minister who volunteered to assure the House of Commons that in all the transactions I have described, Mr. Rhodes, though he had made 'a gigantic mistake,' a mistake perhaps as great as a statesman could make, had done nothing affecting his personal honour? "What can be thought?" At the end of that passage is a note of interrogation, and I daresay the right hon. Gentleman is still asking the question. "What can be thought?" I am sure we should all be very delighted to hear whether the right hon. Gentleman who wrote that passage has come to any conclusion which would enable him to answer the question which he himself put. At the present moment that mark of interrogation remains there, as it were, gaping with astonishment and thirsting for further information and enlightenment. But the point is this: Is it not fair to grant that men who consider the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary as it was considered by the historian may reasonably come to the conclusion that something ought to be explained? I do not say that that is the Colonial Secretary's idea of honour. I should be very sorry to say so. What I do say is that that most extraordinary statement by him makes it I absolutely necessary that an explanation should be given of a statement which has caused astonishment and bewilderment all over the world. The right hon. Gentleman does not believe that a man who deceives others is a man of honour. Suppose Mr. Fairfield had deceived him. The right hon. Gentleman describes Mr. Fairfield in his letters, and in his evidence, and in the Report, as a perfectly honourable man. Why? "Because he told me everything." That is the right hon. Gentleman's standard of honour at his best moments. What would he say if Lord Selborne had deceived not only him, but Mr. Fairfield as well? It is idle to suppose that the right hon. Gentleman really meant what he said here on that occasion. But here comes what has perplexed everybody. People have cast about for an explanation. I desire again to read one passage from the "Annual Register"; it contains a statement which has been made in various prints up and down the country, and which is solemnly made here with reference to what took place in this House on the night of that debate. At page 169 of this book there is this significant passage— It was an open secret that throughout the debate, one Member, unconnected with either front bench, sat with the famous telegrams in his pocket, and with them certain correspondence relating thereto, which he had been instructed to read in the event of Mr. Rhodes's character being aspersed. I cannot prove that is true, but that is a statement which has been solemnly made. I believe that the fact was known to many hon. Members of this House, and the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary is as apt at getting information about everything in relation to the House of Commons as any Member of the House; but whether he was aware of what is stated in this book I do not know. This passage in the "Annual Register" concludes thus— Thus ended, so far as Parliament was concerned, the most abortive inquiry ever set on foot by a Committee chosen with special regard to the competency and authority of its members. According to their Report, Mr. Rhodes had been guilty of every conceivable form of disloyalty; according to their speeches in the House of Commons he was a hero, whose; virtues were scarcely dimmed by the smallest speck. It was, therefore, not surprising that the self-complacency with which the Committee viewed their own proceedings was met by the organs of public opinion of all shades of political complexion with dissatisfaction and bewilderment. I appeal to every fair-minded man in the House when I ask the question: Have we not shown that the conduct of the Colonial Secretary, of the Committee of inquiry, and of the Government afterwards make it absolutely imperative that this further inquiry should be granted? There are two or three other matters. I shall say nothing about the non-cancellation of the charter; I shall say nothing about the reappointment of Sir Graham Bower and Mr. Newton, although much might be said. But the effect of these matters in this country undoubtedly has been that this inquiry is not regarded as final, satisfactory, or complete. The last ground which I desire to urge is the disclosures in the letters published in the Independance Belge. I must go very rapidly through those. I have them here; they are authentic. With one exception, I am only going to refer to those letters passing between the Colonial Office and Mr. Hawksley. They show that Mr. Hawksley was on terms of extraordinary intimacy with the officials of the Colonial Office; they show that private communications passed between them written by the directions and under the instructions of the right hon. Gentleman, as he acknowledged to me in answer to a question the other day; they show there is something to keep back. We know Mr. Hawksley. Mr. Hawksley is not a man who was born yesterday. He is a man of business, and when he writes we are entitled to assume, until they are explained, that Mr. Hawksley had some reason for the statements made in these letters. Here is the first, dated May 6, 1896. There was a private assurance given to Mr. Hawksley about the charter— I can't find Meade's draft of the private assurance about the charter…. You are aware that Chamberlain intends to enlarge in his speech on the advantage of development by Government in countries like Matabeleland. You are aware that Chamberlain wishes the announcement of an acceptance to be made by the company, and before Friday's debate. That letter is from Mr. Fairfield to Mr. Hawksley. The second letter is one in which he says— Unless we hear at once that you agree, the matter is off and we cannot deal with you any further. Then there is a letter from Mr. Hawksley to Mr. Fairfield with regard to the composition of the Committee, and about that I shall say a word or two in a moment. Then comes the letter from Mr. Hawksley to Lord Grey, which the House of Commons has not heard in extenso, but which it ought to hear. With regard to this very inquiry, Mr. Hawksley says in that letter— I do not think we are by any means out of the wood, but there does seem an off-chance of the plea of public interest being recognised, and the cables of the last half of 1895, or, rather, the negotiations of that period, not being disclosed, though I am bound to say that personally I think the balance of probability is that they will have to come out. If they do, Mr. Chamberlain will have no one but himself to thank. I dare say the right hon. Gentleman will say, as he is entitled to say, that that is a letter written by Mr. Hawksley, and not by him. Ought not Mr. Hawksley to have been cross-examined about that? Ought he not to have been asked what were his grounds for saying that "Mr. Chamberlain would have himself to thank" if these matters, instead of being kept in the dark, were to come out into the light of day? There is another letter, to which I refer only to show that many of these telegrams were not disclosed. In a letter from Mr. Hawksley to Mr. Maguire, who was examined, but hardly cross-examined at all, these cables are referred to As far as I can trace to-night, but without exhaustive search, you and Harris cabled Rhodes August 13th, 1895, Harris and Beit on August 17th. Beit cabled November 26th and 28th, and, of course, you will remember your telegrams December 20th and 21st. Not a single one of those telegrams was produced or asked for. Therefore am I not right in saying that the new facts if I may borrow a phrase; from another country—which have been disclosed, if nothing else, make it necessary that the Government should grant a new inquiry into the circumstances that led up to the raid? There is one more feature in regard to this correspondence to which I will allude. It does not concern us how it was obtained, but we know that it was not reproduced in the papers of this country. The respectable Spectator said it would not touch the letters because they were stolen. What if they had been letters about Irish Members? The Times is much too good a paper, and much too proud, to make any such excuse as that, and simply makes no reference to them at all. Is not that a fact which in itself is significant? After the correspondence has been admitted to be authentic, is it not a significant fact that the supporters of the right hon. Gentleman in the press think it their duty to keep back from their reading public the contents of these letters? But the worst feature disclosed in these letters is that Mr. Hawksley was allowed by inter- communication with the Colonial Office, and to the knowledge of the right hon. Gentleman, to interfere in the selection of the personnel of the Committee.


was understood to say that Mr. Hawksley was entitled to express his views.


The House of Commons were the judges; the Committee to be selected by the House of Commons, and which was promised and regarded as an independent Committee, were the judges, and the solicitor to the defendant, according to the theory of the right hon. Gentleman, is to be allowed to have a voice in the selection of the judges who should be appointed. I desire to be very cautious lest it should be understood that we think that Mr. Hawksley in being allowed to make these representations was in any way capable of influencing any member of the Committee. Nobody believes that Mr. Hawksley could or would be allowed to approach members for the purpose of influencing them when they had been selected, but it, is important that we should show in the House of Commons in the strongest possible way our disapproval of conduct which permits a solicitor for persons accused, as these were, to approach the Colonial Office in order to get persons appointed on a Committee who, according to his view, might be favourable to his clients. I submit that the House of Commons would do well, even at this late hour, to grant a further inquiry into these matters. You may say that an inquiry has been held, and people are unreasonable to ask for a further investigation. You may say that we are much too great a people to listen to what happens abroad. But that is not the measure you mete to other nations. Do we forget the conduct of the English newspapers with regard to the Dreyfus trial? It will be conceded that there is a unanimous chorus of opinion in foreign countries that there was complicity between the Colonial Office and those who took part in the conspiracy, and in the raid which followed when the conspiracy failed. That being so, is it not important that we should do something, great nation though we are, to show, even now when we are at war, that we have not lost the sense of fairness and of justice? The right hon. Gentleman in a speech on the 29th January, 1897,referring to the Committee, said—"I believe it will be equal to the difficult task before it." And he made use of this phrase: "It will know that it has to shield great national interests." I do not pretend to know whether that phrase has any special significance. I do not pretend to be able to tell the House what the "great national interests" were to which the right hon. Gentleman referred, and which that Committee of Inquiry were to shield; but I do know that there are some matters of the greatest national interest which ought to be safeguarded, namely—the credit and reputation of Ministers of the Crown, the honour of the House of Commons, and the good faith of the nation. The House of Commons ought never to fail to do all that is necessary to cherish and to uphold these great national interests, and this motion is urged upon the acceptance of the House in order that those great, and vital, national interests may be safeguarded and vindicated before the eyes of the world.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That it is expedient that a full inquiry be made into the origin and circumstances of the conspiracy against the Transvaal Government, and of the incursion into the South African Republic by an armed force in 1895."—(Mr. D. A. Thomas).


I think it will probably be most convenient that I should say at once what I have to say on this resolution, and I am happy to think that it will not be necessary to trouble the House at any great length. So far as the resolution is an attack on the South Africa Committee, I will leave it to my colleagues and to hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite who were members of that Committee to reply, and so far as this resolution, under the pretext of public interest, is a direct personal attack upon myself, although I will deal with the essential facts, I certainly will not follow the two hon. Gentlemen who have spoken through all the details of a complicated business, most of which, if not all of which, were carefully examined by the Committee. I confess that at one time I did feel very bitterly about this matter, and thought it hard that such charges should be brought against me after I had been for twenty-four years a Member of this House, that charges—no, they are not charges; they are insinuations and innuendoes—should be advanced, based on suspicions and imputations which even those who repeat and publish them dare not pretend that they themselves believe. We are told that further inquiry is necessary to satisfy foreign critics of the Colonial Secretary. No, Sir; I am no hopeful that anything the House can do, certainly that anything I can do, will silence my foreign critics. A much better reason is given when Members say there is great anxiety in the country, that suspicion has taken profound root there, and that we owe it to our constituents and our countrymen that these matters should again be gone into. But whore is the proof of this? I have had good reason to know of late that these attacks do not influence the minds or affect the judgments of anybody inside the House of Commons or outside the House of Commons for whose good opinion I care one straw. On the other hand, I find that those of my opponents who have been prominent in this matter—in this dirty work, in this conspiracy against the reputation of a single man I find that some of these have great difficulty in getting a hearing even from their own constituents. Well, the hon. Gentleman who moved the resolution said he would not make a personal attack, and I, trying to treat the motion as impersonally as I can, will endeavour to recall the House to the really important features of the matter, and the facts upon which their judgment will have to be based. This is a motion for a new inquiry, and I notice that in the wording of the motion there is no reference to an inquiry having been already held: that fact and all the work that Committee did is ignored entirely—and it is necessary that the House should for a moment bear in mind what was done in respect of that first inquiry. On December 29th, 1895, the raid occurred, and within a few days I made a public statement that full inquiry should be made into the raid and its origin. There was no suggestion at that time of my complicity, there was no pressure upon me, but at the same time I made that promise freely on behalf of the Government, and I afterwards repeated that promise to this House and to President Kruger. The inquiry could only be held after the judicial proceedings came to an end in which Dr. Jameson and his officers were concerned, and the moment the trial was over I came to the House and proposed a Committee. Undoubtedly some persons thought that such a Committee would do no good, that it would amount to washing dirty linen in public, and might, therefore, seriously endanger the negotiations then in progress. Representations were made to me to that effect, and that is the meaning, I suppose, of the allusion in a letter—which is not mine and which I ought not to be called upon to interpret—that the plea of public interest would be used. It was used, but it had no effect on my mind, I paid no regard to it—we did not advance it—and came to the House and asked that a Committee should be appointed to conduct the inquiry I had promised. The Committee was appointed at the end of 1896; it was too late then to do any work, and in 1897 it was reappointed, again at my instigation, and proceeded to work. I know I was deeply impressed at the time of the inquiry with the importance of securing from it a final decision and Report, a Report which should, if possible, command general and public confidence. Above all, I was anxious that in this matter, where so many interests were at stake, there should not be the appearance of party feeling. I thought at the time that hon. Gentlemen opposite were of the same opinion, and to secure that result I was careful to give way in every respect possible to every suggestion made to me by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouth, then Leader of the Opposition, and other prominent loaders of the party opposite. It is perfectly well known to the House that I wanted a judicial commission similar to that which tried the accusations against Mr. Parnell, and it was only because the Opposition objected to that that a Parliamentary Committee was appointed. I regret very much that that decision was arrived at, and I think anyone who will carry his mind back to the time when the Committee sat—who remembers the constant "scenes," the sensational reports in newspapers and comments on what was alleged to be and supposed to be a judicial proceeding—anybody who reflects upon these things will agree that, whatever advantages a Parliamentary Committee may have, it is not a judicial body. Then, again, the hon. Member has reproached me with sitting on the Committee. Why, Sir, I did everything I could to avoid sitting on it. I appealed to the Leader of the Opposition. I told him that of course the conduct of the Colonial Office would come under discussion, and I suggested to him, urging it on that ground and on the ground of the important character of the work upon which I was then engaged, that I should not be a member of the Committee, but offering in that case at any time to come forward and give evidence and to place at the disposal of the Committee any information the Colonial Office had. I only consented to take part in the proceedings of the Committee at the express wish of the right hon. Gentleman. Well, hon. Gentlemen will perhaps now understand why I did not take a more prominent part in the Committee discussions. I did not think it my duty to do so, seeing that my action and the conduct of my Department were in some sort under consideration. I did not think it my duty to take a prominent part in the Committee. Acting on that view, and having always in mind the desirability of avoiding anything in the nature of a party conflict, so far as I am concerned, I practically accepted every suggestion made by the right hon. Gentleman opposite for the conduct of the proceedings, and I believe-my colleagues on this side perfectly agreed with me; and I do not think that from beginning to end any decision was. come to by the Committee, or any vote taken, that had a party character. That Committee sat for six months, a most laborious undertaking, and it was then brought to a close. But, again, at whose suggestion? At the distinct suggestion and by the wish of the right hon. Gentleman who was then the Leader of the Opposition, and the right hon. Gentleman has given on more than one occasion his reasons for taking that course, and we concurred in those reasons. I know that he will confirm what I say now—[Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT: Hear, hear!]—that that course suggested by him was not instigated by me nor by any other Member on this side of the House; and I am sure he will also say, if he speaks to-night—and I think it should be said, although we may be perfectly certain it is the case—that he did not take that step in order to shield the reputation of anyone—[Sir W. HARCOURT: Hear, hear!]—either at the Colonial Office, or, as the suggestion also has been made, of anybody outside the Colonial Office—[Sir W. HARCOURT: Hear, hear!]—whatever his station might be. Almost every point that has been raised by the two hon. Gentlemen who have addressed the House came before that Committee and was carefully examined. But above all there was the great question of the telegrams. Well, these telegrams passed between Mr. Rhodes in Africa and his agents in this country—agents and friends; they were shown to me, as has been stated before, and as was stated by me before the Committee, at my request by the solicitor to Mr. Rhodes and to the Chartered Company on, I think, June 6. They were sent to me for confidential perusal and return, and it appeared to me then, and it appears to me now, that under those circumstances I had no right whatever to make use of them as against the person or persons whose property they were, and who had sent them to me under those conditions. But I took care in sending them back to say to the solicitor that as far as I was concerned I had no personal objection whatever to their publication. Then the hon. Member makes a discreditable insinuation—his speech was made up of insinuations unworthy of a Member of this House—the insinuation that I wrote in that sense because I knew that the other parties would not wish to produce them. I knew nothing whatever about the other parties, whether they wanted to produce them or whether they did not. These telegrams, then, I saw, as I say, on June 6, 1896, and I have never seen them since, except in so far as they were produced to the Committee. The Committee called for those telegrams—they called, of course, for the whole batch—from the telegraph company. When they were produced by the telegraph company and came to be examined it was found that some were missing; the majority were there, but the minority were missing. Now, do not let the House make any mistake, or else we shall have another insinuation. These telegrams that were missing were not missing owing to any action, or instigation, or suggestion by any of the parties interested, by the Colonial Office, Mr. Rhodes, Mr. Hawksley, or anybody else whose name has been mentioned; they were missing solely and entirely because of the ordinary proceeding's of the cable company, under which, as I understand, they destroy cablegrams after a certain date.


Neither my hon. friend nor myself said otherwise.


Oh, I am not speaking of the hon. Member. The sole reason why those telegrams were not produced was a reason which concerned the cable company, and it did not, as I say, concern anybody else. The cablegrams that were produced were, as I stated, the bulk, and the telegrams that were not produced, although I could not give details, I. am quite able to say were telegrams similar in character to those that were; that is to say, many of them were quite unimportant, or some of them, at any rate—I do not think there were a great number altogether—some were irrelevant and entirely unimportant, and others, like some of the telegrams that were produced, did appear to imply the complicity of the Colonial Office. Those that were produced, including, of course, those which implied complicity on the part of the Colonial Office, were most carefully examined by the Committee, and witnesses were called upon that very point. I am not quite certain—it is really difficult to remember with absolute accuracy everything that took place—whether Mr. Rhodes was examined with regard to the telegrams. [The ATTORNEY GENERAL. No!] I think he left before then.


He said he would not say what was in the telegrams.


He was not examined because he had loft the country; but Dr. Jameson, Dr. Harris, Miss Shaw, and Mr. Beit were examined, and after this examination of witnesses by the Committee, and after full examination of the telegrams themselves, and after hearing what Lord Selborne and myself had to say upon the subject, the Committee came to the conclusion that there was nothing whatever in them to convict, to imply, to justify any charge whatever against the Colonial Office, and they reported to that effect. They reported in July, 1897, and a few days afterwards there was a debate in this House on that Report, and practically exactly the same question was then raised which is being raised now. The terms of the resolution were different, but what was desired by the hon. Members who then supported that resolution was a further inquiry, especially into the subject of the telegrams, and the House supported the Report of the Committee. That is the history of the proceedings down to the time of the close of the Committee. Why is a further inquiry required now? These hon. Gentleman, with an object which is perfectly evident and must be apparent to Irish Members, recall the circumstances of the Parnell Commission; but after the Parnell Commission had acquitted Mr. Parnell I do not remember anybody coming forward to say that there ought to be a further trial. The only ground on which a further inquiry can be asked for is that something new has transpired. [Nationalist cheers.] Very good. What is there that is new that has transpired since then? I say, and I am going to prove it, that since that time there has not been anything new, there has not been one jot or iota of new evidence, or new ground for suspicion, that could possibly be advanced to justify a second inquiry. What are the things that hon. Members opposite, the hon. Gentlemen who moved and seconded this resolution, refer to as justifying this motion? Well, in the first place, a speech which I made in 1897, a few days after the Report was produced, in which they say I exonerated Mr. Rhodes. If that be a ground for an inquiry it was a ground then, it was a ground in 1897 when the speech was made. Why did not they ask for a further inquiry in 1897, or in the beginning of 1898? Why do they wait for this precise moment? Why do they wait till war has broken out? Why do they wait till much may depend upon the peace which will ultimately be made? But, Sir, upon the merits, suppose that speech, instead of having been made three years ago, had been made yesterday, would it then have been any ground whatever for demanding a further inquiry? What was the speech? They say I exonerated Mr. Rhodes; there is a great deal of cant talked by those hon. Gentlemen about Mr. Rhodes. Mr. Rhodes was accused of two distinct offences: he was accused of a conspiracy to bring about the raid and to encourage the insurrection in Johannesburg. That was one charge, and of that charge, and all that was consequent upon it, all that was connected with it, all the deceit of which hon. Gentlemen have talked, he was found guilty, and he was condemned in the strongest terms by the Committee in the Report which I myself signed. Yes, but that was not all. The hon. Gentleman chooses to ignore, although he knows perfectly well, that besides and above that charge of which he was found guilty there was another charge, an abominable charge, a base charge that ought never to have been made without absolute proof, although I know well that charges may be made without any proof at all. The charge was that he had done this thing, that he had committed this political crime, not with any public spirited motive, not from any patriotic ambition, but with the most sordid motive, with the object of benefiting himself pecuniarily, with the object of promoting his Stock Exchange speculations and of raising the value of his property. That was the charge that was made against Mr. Rhodes by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Northampton, and by organs of the press in all parts of the country. Of that charge Mr. Rhodes was proved absolutely innocent. and when the question came before the Committee the hon. Member was challenged to give proofs, and he failed to do so and admitted that he had no evidence whatever to put forward.

MR. LABOUCHERE () Northampton

I am afraid the right hon. Gentleman is mistaken. What I admitted at the inquiry was that I made a mistake in regard to special speculations.


I say that with regard to Mr. Rhodes the hon. Member did not bring forward one tittle of evidence for the charges which he had made. With the feeling of indignation which was provoked in me by these most unjust, most unworthy charges, while I con- demned Mr. Rhodes as strongly as anybody else for the offence he had really committed, I absolved him absolutely of the offence he had not committed, which would have tainted his personal honour. That is all I have to say about that speech. Then we come to a much more definite matter. It appears a further inquiry is to be asked for on account of that precious collection of documents which was published in the Independance Belge. Why, Sir, the hon. Gentlemen have been very scanty of information as to the way these documents were procured. They were stolen, apparently, from Mr. Hawks-leys desk by a, clerk who was summarily dismissed, and they were then hawked about London to the newspapers holding different politics from my own. as well as to those of my own side, and none of them would touch them, even with the tongs. And then at last they found a customer, they found a customer in a well-known friend of the Boers. He contrived to transmit them to Dr. Leyds, and Dr. Leyds paid, or promised to pay, £ 100 for them. Dr. Leyds never made a worse bargain in his life than when he paid £ 100 for that rubbish. There is nothing in those documents, assuming them to be genuine—and I do assume them to be genuine-that from first to last was not known to the Committee and to everybody at the time the Committee sat. Let us see what is in those documents. There is a letter from Mr. Fairfield to Mr. Hawksley. The hon. Member expressed surprise that Mr. Hawksley was known at the Colonial Office.


I did not express surprise.


Mr. Hawksley, as the Solicitor and agent of the Chartered Company, was constantly at the Colonial Office on the business of the Chartered Company, and he happened, in addition, to be a personal friend of Mr. Fairfield. Both gentlemen belonged to the party to which the hon. Member also belongs, and they were intimate personal friends. The first letter which Mr. Fairfield wrote to Mr. Hawksley is in connection with the debate which took place in this House soon after the raid. It was known that Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Beit had tendered their resignation to the board of the Chartered Company, and the Chartered Company's board came to me to ask for advice and instruction as to what they should do. I refused to give them either. I said they must act on their own responsibility. The only thing I insisted on was that I must have their answer in time for the debate, in order that I might inform the House of Commons upon the fact. In the same letter Mr. Fairfield referred to an opinion of mine which also is perfectly well known namely, that I did not consider that under any circumstances the Chartered Company could be dealt with until the inquiry had been completed and their defence had been properly considered. That, I think, stands to reason, and I do not think anybody could differ, or did differ, from me at the time. That fact was communicated to the Chartered Company. Then there is a second letter from Mr. Fairfield, in which he refers to the composition of the Committee. A Parliamentary Committee was decided upon. at the suggestion and the wish of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite. I desired to make it an impartial Committee a Committee which should not be partisan—from which should be excluded everybody who had any direct or indirect interest in any of the parties concerned, and from which should be excluded also those who had publicly prejudged the question. But I was told that that view did not commend itself to gentlemen opposite, and that they desired that the Leader of the Opposition, who had taken a very strong part in condemning Mr. Rhodes and the Chartered Company, and the hon. Member for Northampton-who had taken a still more extreme part should both be upon the Committee. The moment that was decided on, the Committee had to be appointed on the ordinary lines upon which all such Committees are appointed that is to say, that all interests should be represented. Accordingly, no objection whatever was made by the Government to the desire, first of Mr. Rhodes, and secondly of the Chartered Company, that some hon. Member of this House who was, at any rate, friendly to them, should appear on the Committee, not of course-it never is so in these cases—as delegates or the representatives of the threatened interests, but as persons who would at least see that their defence was properly stated and that they had a fair field. Is that a great secret? These two hon. Members bring that out as if at last here there was a crushing case against the Colonial Office. They forget the debate in the House of Commons on the appointment of the Committee. The appointment of the hon. Member for Northampton and that of the present Under Secretary for War was objected to on the distinct ground that they represented interests or special views; but when once you came to the opinion that the Committee was not to be an impartial Committee you were bound to have both sides represented. That is a part of this monstrous web of intrigue which we are supposed to be weaving. That is all I have to say about the Fairfield letters. Is it to be expected of me that I am to go into the letter of my right hon. friend the Homo Secretary, written in the course of his office to someone who applied for the release of the raiders; or am I to touch on the letter — which does not appear to be an unnatural one of Mr. Justice Bigham, as he now is, to Mr. Hawksley, from whom he wanted some information? Or am I to touch on the letter from a lady who happened to be related to me by marriage, but who, I am sorry to say, does not share my opinions, and with whom I have never had any discussion on South African affairs? Are these the matters upon which I am to reply for the Colonial Office? No, Sir; but there is one other letter to which the hon. Member made allusion. That is the letter from Mr. Hawksley to Lord Grey, in which Mr. Hawksley says, writing, remember, in February, when the Committee were beginning their labours, "I am afraid we are not out of the wood." Does the hon. Member think that "we" meant the Colonial Office?


No: I said distinctly no.


No, neither do I. He said he did not think "we are out of the wood," and they were not, as the circumstances show. He said he thought it probable that the telegrams would be produced. They were produced, as I myself was practically certain they would be produced, and I made no objection to their production. He goes on to say that "if they come out Chamberlain will have no one to thank but himself." That is perfectly true. I have to thank myself for the production of the telegrams. No doubt if I had yielded to the pressure which was put on me, and if no inquiry had been held, there would have been no telegrams. Actually a statement of that sort, which I never saw until it appeared the other day in the Independance Beige, is seriously brought forward here as one of the great reasons why a further inquiry should be held in order to decide whether the Colonial Secretary has committed perjury. If this matter had been an ordinary case-if it had not been complicated by political motives and by personal animosities not a man in this House would have said that there was a shadow of a shade of a ground for reopening the inquiry. The hon. Gentlemen opposite ask for an inquiry. They do not want an inquiry; they want an execution. As long as there is a verdict of acquittal behind them, they will go on asking for inquiries. What they want to do is to discredit the Minister at the present time they charge unjustly with being in a special sense responsible for this war, and whom they desire—no doubt for good reasons to exclude from any part in the settlement which is to follow. Let them do their worst. I am perfectly ready to rely on the good sense and generosity of this House and of my countrymen outside: and I venture to say that this attack, and all the attacks which have preceded it, will recoil upon the shoulders of those who make them.

SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT () Monmouthshire, W.

I rise to state my reasons why I shall vote for this resolution. It will not be—as I think the right I hon. Gentleman will acknowledge—from political motives or Personal animosities. My view of this matter is a different one in many respects from that of the hon. Members who have moved and seconded this resolution. When I listened to their speeches I did not feel quite sure who were the parties to be indicted. As a member of that Committee I felt that at least as many charges were brought against me as against anybody else, but I am not going to enter into a defence of the Committee, because I do not think it is necessary. The Committee have stated the ground upon which they found it impossible to give a final Report. On the very-face of it there has not been a full inquiry, and we gave our reasons why that full inquiry should not take place. There- fore, as far as I am concerned, I desire to state the reasons which actuate me in thinking that a full inquiry is necessary; and it is upon that ground, and that ground alone, that I desire to speak. The right hon. Gentleman has said that the suspicions are the work of his political adversaries. [Ministerial cries of "Hear, hear!"] No, those suspicions are not the work of his political adversaries; they are the work of men who, for their own objects, have stuck at nothing in the way of mendacity, in the way of forgery, and, as my hon. and learned friend has said, in the way of every form of fraud to answer their own purposes. They are the authors of these suspicions. It is the agents of Mr. Rhodes who have endeavoured to cover their guilt by suggesting, and more than suggesting-by asserting the complicity of the Colonial Office. What was their object? In the insurrection which they subsidised in South Africa Mr. Beit gave.£ 200,000, and Mr. Rhodes gave very nearly the same sum, for that purpose, but they could not with all their money get up that raid until they had given the assurance that Lord Rosmead was an accomplice. Before the raid took place there was a telegram sent from Mr. Rhodes's brother to Mr. Rhodes to say that It is absolutely essential that you shall inform us that the High Commissioner and Mr. Rhodes, the Prime Minister at the Cape, will come up when the insurrection takes place to give us their countenance. And knowing that they had deceived Lord Rosmead, that they never told him what the true condition of things was, Mr. Rhodes had not even the courage to send the answer himself, but he orders Mr. Beit to send a telegram to say that the chairman and himself would come up. That was the falsehood by which they sought, as well as with their money, to promote this insurrection. But it was not necessary only to tell this falsehood to induce the men in Johannesburg to rise. There was something more than that. It was necessary to induce the officers of Her Majesty's Army to take part in this criminal attempt; and how was that done? Sir John Willoughby, a man of unquestionable honour, has told you that he was informed by Dr. Jameson that the Government was at their back, and Dr. Jameson did not deny it. [Mr. CHAMBEKLAIN: Yes, he did.] But what did Sir. John Willoughby say? He said- I acted under Dr. Jameson's orders in the honest and bona fide belief that the steps were taken with the knowledge and assent of the Imperial authorities. I was informed by Dr. Jameson that that was the fact. At page.301 of the evidence, Question 5942, Dr. Jameson said— I daresay I may have said to them [the officers], ' I may tell you practically that the Government would hack it up,' or words of that kind. That produced on the minds of these officers an impression that they had the Government at their back. He also said that "the safety of their commissions might be guaranteed." Asked what he meant by that, he said, "Oh, if it had been successful, I feel quite sure they would not have suffered from it. "What a notion, that the honour of the British Government depended on the success of the movement whether the conduct of those engaged in it was worthy of punishment or not! The object of these conspirators was to bring about the insurrection, and they accomplished the armed invasion by the foul methods of misrepresentation, of fraud, and of falsehood. Could there be anything more abominable than the telegram which was sent by Mr. Rhodes himself two days before the raid to Dr. Jameson, putting into his mouth the lie he was to tell to the officers! He dictated it to Dr. Jameson, Dr. Jameson repeated it to Lord Rosmead, and in that manner it was sought to deceive Lord Rosmead. Then there is the very remarkable telegram from Dr. Jameson to Mr. Hawksley, "Had an hour with Johnny. He will be all right." No doubt, "Johnny" was Sir John Willoughby, and he was to be all right: that was, he would explain away his letter. It is a very remarkable fact that although Sir John Willoughby deliberately and with legal advice wrote this letter to the War Office in the interests of the officers who were made the unconscious dupes of Mr Rhodes, it was not withdrawn until two days before he gave his evidence. Dr. Jameson had an hour with him and then Dr. Jameson says he would be all right. Then there is that curious passage of which the Under Secretary for War may perhaps give us some explanation:—"Wyndham promises not to leave it till he succeeds. "That is the method which was adopted to deceive the people out in Africa. But it was not enough that they should show the complicity of Lord Rosmead: they set to work to engineer the complicity of the Colonial Office. It is my belief they accomplished that purpose, and they spread those suspicions by the same arts of mendacity and fraud as they used in the case of Lord Rosmead. Let us see how they set to work. Dr. Harris received instructions from Mr. Rhodes, who was pressing eagerly to get hold of this strip of land where Mafeking was for the purpose of the raid. All sorts of reasons were given, but not the true reasons. Then Mr. Rhodes informs Dr. Harris that at his discretion he might let the Colonial Secretary know that the reasons given were not the only reasons. The real reason, of course, was that he wanted to have a force there in order that he might be able to use it if the insurrection took place. Dr. Harris goes to the Colonial Office and makes guarded allusions. Why? In order that he might telegraph out to Mr. Rhodes I have informed the Colonial Office. We are all right, and you may communicate it to South Africa. That was the object of all these communications. Then Dr. Harris says— I spoke more, openly to Mr. Fairfield. I made no guarded allusions. When challenged on that matter as to a particular date—November 4th-he produces a letter from Mr. Fairfield giving an account of that interview in which there is nothing about the things he said he spoke openly about. Then Dr. Harris says— It is within the knowledge of other gentlemen that I spoke more openly to Mr. Fairfield than that. Therefore there was a syndicate of gentlemen who were to fix knowledge on the Colonial Office and on the Colonial Secretary. These telegrams were never produced. Some of them were sent in the name of Dr. Harris, but he informed us he was in consultation with other people—with Mr. Beit, Mr. Maguire, and Lord Grey. These were the people who were made aware of what he considered his communication to the Colonial Office to have been. That was the way they began to operate. Now let us come to what happened after the raid took place. Mr. Rhodes came home, arriving at Plymouth. Mr. Hawksley, his solicitor, met him at Plymouth, and they came up in the train together. The telegrams which have been withheld were given by Mr. Rhodes to Mr. Hawksley, and what was said in reference to them was that they were telegrams which had been made use of by Mr. Rhodes to support his policy in South Africa. Yes; how did they support that policy? Because the men here telegraphed that they had secured the complicity of the Colonial Office. That was the purport of the telegrams. The remarkable thing is that when he arrived in London after a long journey from Plymouth with Mr. Rhodes, Mr. Hawksley went instantly to the Colonial Office and delivered the telegrams there. Why should he go there at all?' The moment the telegrams were seen by Mr. Fairfield and Sir Robert Meade, Sir Robert Meade said, "Oh, these must be shown at once to Mr. Chamberlain." No doubt he considered them important. The right hon. Gentleman accordingly wrote requesting that the telegrams should be sent to him for his inspection, and Mr. Hawksley wrote back saying, "Oh, that is not necessary. Mr. Chamberlain knows all I know, and he must shape his course accordingly." What did he mean by that? Why should he shape his course with reference to these telegrams? And so the matter rested until the trial of Dr. Jameson, which took place in June. I suppose every member of the House knows what efforts were made to stop that trial. Rumours were set afloat, but not set afloat by the right hon. Gentleman's political adversaries or the men who regarded him with personal animosity. They were set afloat, and they have been continued to this day, not only here, but everywhere, by Mr. Rhodes and his agents and the people who support him, with the object of suggesting that the conspirators were covered in their action by the complicity of the Colonial Office. I want to have that shown up, and that is my point of view in this discusson. I want the conduct of these men who have stuck at nothing-those unscrupulous men who have deceived everybody, who have ruined the character of the British nation for honesty and fair dealing—shown up in its true light. That is why I think there ought to be another inquiry. I regret as much as anybody that there has not been a full inquiry into this business. I have stated the reason honestly, and I believe the House will believe me. It is necessary that we should disavow any sinister motives in concluding that inquiry. We had only one object and one motive in bringing the South Africa Committee to an end so soon, and that was that the conduct of the authors of the raid should be laid before the English people without delay, if we had had time we should have done what we all desired that is, pursued the inquiry to the end. If the matter had been forgotten, if the suspicions no longer existed there would be no case for the further inquiry which is now asked for. But these suspicions still exist: they increase day by day: they are circulated and stimulated by these men, who have invented every story they thought would suit their purpose. They went about before the Jameson trial endeavouring to intimidate everybody to try to prevent it coming on. What was the meaning of carrying these telegrams to the Colonial Office? what was the meaning of withholding their production? It was not the Committee that prevented their production; it was Mr. Rhodes who refused. Why did he refuse? Because he knew very well that if those telegrams were produced they would only be additional evidence of the methods he employed. That is why the fresh inquiry should be instituted, and there is no one who has a greater interest in having it made than the Colonial Secretary. It is these men who have really poisoned the public mind against him. Do not let him pretend it is anyone else. They worked against Sir Hercules Robinson and against the right hon. Gentleman, and they have no other object than to divert the indignation of the English people from themselves by saying that they acted with the approval of the Colonial Office. That is the scheme I want to have shown up, and when it is demonstrated, and only then, will the suspicions now rankling in the public mind come to an end. That is the point of view from which I support this motion. I think a full inquiry ought to be made into the conduct of these men, and into their attempts to involve Lord Rosmead and the Colonial Office. Lord Grey, a most important witness in my opinion, who was abroad at the time of the late inquiry, ought to be heard on this subject We have been told over and over again that he was one of the men who had the confidence of the authors of the raid, who advised those telegrams—one, in Mr. Harris's phrase, of "the Rhodes group." We know what that group is. It is not confined to these men. It is a very extensive group in this country. We should be therefore glad to hear what Lord Grey has to say on this subject. He had a special code given him to communicate with Mr. Rhodes. We should like to know whether he communicated with Mr. Rhodes. It is a very remarkable thing that when at the Committee of Inquiry we asked Mr. Maguire—I think I asked the question myself—whether he had any telegraphic communication with Mr. Rhodes, and he said, "No: I had none towards the end of 1895 "—that was a month or two before the raid. Yet one of the letters recently published was from Mr. Hawksley to Mr. Maguire, in which he says, "You will remember your cables to Mr. Rhodes on such and such a date. "A statement more inconsistent with the facts it is impossible to conceive. It was absolutely certain that these men were cabling day after day to Mr. Rhodes saying, "It is all right; we have the Colonial Office with us"; and Mr. Rhodes himself stated the cables he received were used at the Cape in order to support his policy. That is a thing which must be inquired into; it is quite impossible to leave attempts of that kind alone. I suggest to the Colonial Secretary that when there is a conspiracy of this kind against his character one of the first duties to the public is to have it exposed. He has no right to assume indifference and say, "I stand upon my character: these men have entered into a conspiracy against me, and I will take no notice of them." I say these are things which require to be taken notice of. They have created suspicion which has done infinite mischief, and they have shaken confidence in British good faith all over the world; and therefore I say a further inquiry is absolutely necessary. Without making any charge of complicity against the right hon. Gentleman, I must condemn him for not having taken measures that might have removed these suspicions. I think the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, in which he said there was no reflection on the personal honour of Mr. Rhodes, was a most culpable error. I was never more astonished, and I will say I was never more shocked than when I heard that speech. I had unfortunately spoken in the debate, and could not state at the time, though I stated shortly afterwards, the impression that speech made on my mind. What had Mr. Rhodes done? Why, he stated what he knew to be untrue to everybody. He deceived everybody with whom he was connected. As my hon. and learned friend has said, he deceived Lord Rosmead, to whom he was bound in honour to be truthful. He deceived the Chartered Company. Perhaps they will one day discover that he has not ceased to deceive them. He stuck at nothing. He authorised the sending of that letter to The Times, one of the most scandalous things I ever heard of. Nobody knew better than he did that the people of Johannesburg had countermanded the raid by sending men to order it not to take place, and yet Mr. Rhodes authorised the letter to be sent with a false date to deceive the British people and to inspire the jingo muse of the Poet Laureate. All the world was deceived. It was said: "These cowardly men in Johannesburg have abandoned the heroes they invited to fight for them." And yet the right hon. Gentleman says that is not inconsistent with personal honour. I am sorry such a standard of personal honour should have been raised. The right hon. Gentleman, ingeniously enough, tried to fix it upon a charge of personal and pecuniary interest. But there was no question of personal and pecuniary interest raised in the debate, which turned entirely upon the whole of the general conduct of Mr. Rhodes. Mr. Rhodes himself may not have been governed by pecuniary interest. I have never said he was. Yes, Sir, but there is "the Rhodes group." Had they no pecuniary interest? We are told that gold had nothing to do with the raid. The raid, in my opinion, was made by gold and lies. Who produced these hundreds of thousands of pounds to raise rebellion in Johannesburg, and to gather together the police at Mafeking? Why I read the other day that one of these gold lords of the Transvaal, addressing his shareholders, said— This war we reckon will be a capital thing for us; it will raise the value of the output from 6s. to 10s. a ton, and if we work that out it will come to three millions. I hope he means to offer that three millions to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the expenses of this war, by which it will have been earned. There is one: other thing I alluded to it the other night, but I must allude to it again—I am sorry the right hon. Gentleman took no notice of it—and that is the office which was given to Sir Graham Bower after the Report of the Committee. What was the conduct of Sir Graham Bower? He received a secret communication of the most serious character. Did he consult Lord Rosmead? My hon. and learned friend asked very truly what was the standard set up by the Colonial Secretary in the case of Mr. Fairfield? He said, "Mr. Fairfield is a. man of honour, and could not possibly have concealed anything from me." Then comes Mr. Newton, another Imperial officer. Mr. Newton felt that he, having this knowledge, must go and inform Lord Rosmead; and who are the people who persuaded him not to inform the man to whom he had been private secretary and in whose house he was living? They were Mr. Rhodes and Sir Graham Bower. What an example is that to set to the permanent Civil Service of this country If there is anything for which the permanent Civil Service of this country are famous, and of which they are justly proud, it is the chastity of their honour and their loyalty to their chief. Yet here is a man convicted and condemned by a Committee for his disloyalty to his chief, and then he is given a place, very soon afterwards, of the same kind of trust which he had betrayed and dishonoured. That is a circumstance which in itself has spread great alarm, and it is one which, in my opinion, is very deeply to be deplored. I speak on this subject strongly because I have enjoyed the assistance of the permanent Civil Service of this country, and I know how deeply they feel the blow struck at it by the conduct of Sir Graham Bower, and still more by his having been placed again in a position of the same trust. The right hon. Gentleman said nothing upon that subject to-night. He was asked a question yesterday about it, and what was his answer? He said Sir Graham Bower did not receive pay for fourteen months, and that his salary is not so great in his present office as in the last. Yes, Sir, but you cannot measure a question of honour of this kind by salary. That is not a standard, any more than the other, of personal honour. In my opinion a civil servant who has behaved to his chief in the way that Sir Graham Bower has behaved to Lord Rosmead ought never to have been treated in the manner in which he was by the right hon. Gentleman opposite. Now, I have been obliged to make these remarks for this reason, that I do believe that these two acts on the part of the right hon. Gentleman have done a great deal to keep alive those suspicions which ought never to have arisen and ought never to have been set afloat. These are the reasons for which I think that a more extended inquiry ought to be made. That inquiry which we found ourselves unable to make should now be fulfilled. I have never regarded that Report as a final Report. It was stated on the face of it that it was not a final Report. We stated our reasons for not being able to make a final Report. The circumstances of these telegrams, both those that were refused then and those that have been produced since, and of these letters, have made this question of suspicion one not only of English interest, but of European importance. And it does seem to me that to allow these suspicions to go on, propagated as they are by these men, who will continue to propagate them and to cover themselves by the suggested connivance of the Colonial Office from the responsibility of their own malefactions, is a thing that is not safe in the public interest and will not redound to the honour of this Country. Therefore, I think we ought to take all the measures in our power to reveal the whole of this matter to the bottom, and to put aside those mischievous suspicions which the Colonial Secretary has to-night repudiated.

*MR. CRIPPS () Gloucestershire, Stroud

I should like at the commencement of my remarks to say a few words in reference to the speech of the right hon. Member for West Monmouth, because it appears to me, having regard to the speech the right hon. Gentleman made in the summer-of 1897, inconceivable, that he should now be found supporting the motion now before the House. The speech of the right hon. Gentleman is undoubtedly framed on an indictment of Mr. Rhodes and his friends, and I should have liked to have asked the right hon. Gentleman, if he had been in his place, why on this subject the inquiry should be re- opened, or why he has any fault to find with the conclusions at which the Committee arrived. The whole point which the right hon. Gentleman raises, the question as to the conduct of Mr. Rhodes and his friends, was undoubtedly discussed and inquired into in the fullest manner, and on that point it cannot be said the Committee did not come to an effective conclusion. The right hon. Gentleman also appeared to think that without fuller inquiry being made, there might be some misunderstanding as to the motives with which these cablegrams had been sent by Mr. Rhodes's friends in England to Mr. Rhodes and his advisers in South Africa. Surely on that point the right hon. Gentleman must have forgotten the findings of the Committee, which are in exact accordance with the views he now expresses. He is in accord with the finding of the Committee, and on this ground he can hardly say that full inquiry is necessary in order that all these difficult and complex questions should be further considered. From the outset I have desired that every matter should be fully gone into, with all necessary detail and evidence, in order-that the Committee might come to an effective and proper conclusion. Upon that point I should like to call attention to the finding of the Committee itself. The Committee found, almost in the words of the right hon. Gentleman, "that there was no basis or foundation of fact on which these cablegrams were founded; that they were sent by Mr. Rhodes's confederates in England to his con federates in South Africa in order that, they might be unjustly used to suggest the implication of the Colonial Office. After what has been said to-night nobody could come to the conclusion that there were real causes for reopening the inquiry. Apart from the cablegrams no suggestion of any sort has been made which would justify that conclusion. All other matters were fully considered and investigated in the proceedings of the Committee. There is only one other point in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman to which I should like to call attention. He has made an attack on the reappointment to certain offices of Sir Graham Bower and Mr. Newton. That is entirely irrelevant to the present issue. I should like to put it to any hon. Members of this House, or anybody who has followed this matter, whether those gentlemen have anything to do with the subject matter of discussion now before the House. That matter has nothing to do with the inquiry held before the South African Committee. If I thought there were any outstanding injustice perpetrated by that Committee, I should not be here to-day to oppose this motion, but that proposition has yet to be proved. There is no proof of any outstanding injustice either in the conduct of the Committee itself or in the effect of that conduct. If that cannot be shown, I think it would be nothing less than an unmitigated evil to allow this motion to proceed. The issues were undoubtedly serious and of extreme importance—they were both complex and difficult—which had to be inquired into, and they were inquired into once and for all. Those issues involved the honour, character and position, whether for good or evil, of leading statesmen in this country and in South Africa, but when the Committee has sat and the verdict given of acquittal and condemnation, because it was both in this case, there can be no possible justification for reopening an inquiry of that kind unless there are facts which are either new in themselves or give some ground for saying the inquiry was not properly held. Not only were the characters and reputations of statesmen involved, but the relationship between this country and South Africa was also very deeply involved, and that being so what could be worse than at the present time to reopen a sore of that kind without some absolute necessity for it. What could be more unfortunate than at this moment to drag to the front a difficult and unpleasant controversy which I think and hope has been by the Report of the Committee decided for ever. Unless it be established on good ground that the Report of this Committee is imperfect, it cannot be suggested that an inquiry lasting over a large number of days and to which anxious attention was given ought to be re-opened. The hon. Gentleman who moved the motion said that the Report of the Committee was inconclusive and feeble; feeble it might be in his opinion, but inconclusive it was not. Of the two great issues relegated to it, one was whether what may be termed the Rhodes group were implicated in the raid. Was the Report inconclusive upon that point? The Committee found that Mr. Rhodes and the group with which he was connected were implicated.


Since the hon. Gentleman challenges me, I deny all that. It was the Colonial Secretary who was on his defence, and not Mr. Rhodes, who had already been convicted, and whose offence had been aggravated by the fact that he held a position of trust in South Africa.


The hon. Gentleman may disagree with the Report, but how can he say it was inconclusive? Then taking the other point raised by the hon. Gentleman, how can he say it was inconclusive as regards the Colonial Secretary? The Committee, with practical unanimity, acquitted the right hon. Gentleman of any knowledge or complicity. The hon. Gentleman may disagree with the Report, but that is no reason for re-opening the inquiry. The hon. Member said he was not prepared to specify any charge. Is the House going to upset the finding of a committee of this sort, and going to have the inquiry re-opened, when the hon. Gentleman who brings the motion is not prepared to specify the charges which he alleges?


I was acting on precedent.


Two points made by the hon. Gentleman opposite show he has not considered what really passed. He has not really considered the evidence placed before the Committee, and has not regarded the care with which the Committee; investigated it. First of all he referred to the letter of Sir John Willoughby, known as the War Office letter That letter was not written by Sir John Willoughby at all, but by his solicitor, and written on information supposed to be supplied by Dr. Jameson. Dr. Jameson came forward and said there was a mistake; that he never gave the information, and so ended the mystery involved in that letter.


Was it not signed by Sir John Willoughby?


Of course it was, and if the hon. Gentleman had taken the trouble to go into the different details with which the Committee had to deal, he would have known that although it was signed by Sir John Willoughby, it was not written by him. Then I come to the Flora Shaw cablegram in which the name of the Colonial Secretary appears. I wonder whether the hon. Gentleman ever took the trouble to ascertain what that cablegram was. It was one of the cablegrams called imaginative in the language of the hon. Member for Northampton. The explanation given before the Committee as to the cablegram and I think this is very important—was that when the name of the Colonial Secretary was used, it was not used as expressing his views, or indicating that he had over expressed any views to Miss Shaw, but, as she said herself, because it was thought he might be Little Englander, and she wished to dissipate that impression. The Committee accepted that explanation, and exonerated the Colonial Secretary from any possible implication. It is surely somewhat disingenuous to bring this matter forward without, at any rate, some explanation. One can always cull particular extracts, and by divorcing them from their surroundings make them appear to bear an absolutely different meaning to their original purport. One of the misfortunes of this case is that it is so easy to take some detached statement and give undue weight to it, and not at the same time bring to the mind of your hearers or readers all the surrounding circumstances. I think it may be called a good omen as regards the work of the Committee that, in spite of the extremely able speech of the seconder of the resolution, there was not a word in the whole of it which would justify the re-opening of this difficult problem. The first matter to which the seconder referred was what he called the conduct of the Colonial Secretary in giving his evidence. The Committee had nothing to do with that. What they had to see to, and what was inquired into, not only in detail but with great particularity, was whether the Colonial Office was implicated or not: and upon that point we made the fullest investigation, and had ample material on which to come to a final and conclusive decision. The second point raised by the hon. Member who seconded this resolution was what he called the omissions of the Committee. I absolutely disagree with his criticisms. The duty of the Committee was to receive sufficient infor- mation to enable them to form a just opinion on the matters submitted to them. But when they had that information, and had formulated their opinion, what was the obligation on the Committee to go further? As regards the reporting of Mr. Hawksley, that has been discussed and decided in this House, and the action of the Committee was supported most loyally by the hon. Member for West Monmouthshire and by the Leader of the Opposition. What did the Leader of the Opposition say as regards these cablegrams? He said They were used for the intimidation of one public Department after another. Was it not also likely that they might be used to stave off the publication of a damning Report. Are we to reopen the inquiry for such purpose? The question of the conduct of the Government after the Report has nothing to do with the members of the Committee. As regards subsequent disclosures, it is impossible to add anything to what the Secretary for the Colonies has said. If hon. Members wish to impugn the attitude of the Government on this matter, it is open to them to do it; but surely to seek to upset the most careful inquiry of a Committee of this House would be a fatal blow to the prestige of the House. Although I think there is no profound dissatisfaction outside the House and no profound desire within the House to re-open a complicated question of this sort, I think it is due to the South African Committee and I am speaking as a member of the Committee—to say in one or two words what passed as regards these cablegrams. A mountain has been made out of a mole hill. They were, after all, a small and unimportant element in this very complicated inquiry. They were telegrams sent from implicated parties in England to implicated parties in South Africa. The Colonial Office had no cognisance of them at the time; they were not brought to the knowledge of the Colonial Office until a much later date. The point I have taken on these cablegrams is that they were almost irrelevant. You would not condemn any third party on telegrams sent in that way. So far as the Committee were concerned, not only did they not want to hush up those telegrams, but the, steps they took would naturally lead to the disclosure of the whole of them. The Committee ordered the Eastern Tele graph Company to retain all the cablegrams they had, and they hoped to get all the cablegrams that passed during these negotiations. Is that consistent with the suggestion that the Committee were desirous to hush up the evidence? It was merely the accident that the Eastern Telegraph Company in the course of their business only kept telegrams for six months that prevented us from getting the whole of them. I for one would not have joined in this report if anything could have been disclosed in those telegrams which the Committee did not already know. In my opinion there is not the slightest foundation for saying there was anything material in those telegrams not known to the Committee. First of all, every party implicated, or who could be implicated, in those telegrams was before the Committee. We had Dr. Harris's own admission that he saw the Colonial Secretary but three times, and that only on one occasion did he make a guarded allusion to certain eventualities. The Colonial Secretary and the Under Secretary for the Colonies said, on oath, they had absolutely nothing brought to their minds to suggest the Jameson raid or anything incidental to it. Is there any member of the House who will say the Committee was not justified in acting on statements of that kind, and in finding, as they did, that the Colonial Office was not implicated in this matter? Why did we want further inquiry? If those statements are accurate, they dispose of the whole allegation. No one in this House has impugned their accuracy. The Committee believed the sworn statements of the Colonial Secretary and the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, and I say they were right in doing so, and consequently in coming to the finding they did. With regard to Mr. Fairfield, the only way the raid would have been brought to his knowledge was through Dr. Harris, and you have the positive statement of Dr. Harris himself that Mr. Fairfield was absolutely innocent of the Jameson raid. The Report of the Committee was based on the theory that these cablegrams did suggest the implication of the Colonial Office, but that that implication was wholly misleading and unjustifiable. Under these circumstances what is the ground, or the suggested ground, for the re-opening of the inquiry? I could understand the demand fur the re-opening of the inquiry if anyone were to got up in his place and say he did not believe the statements of the Colonial Secretary or the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies. But when the Committee has believed these statements the whole matter is brought to an end, and there is nothing to be said. We have the condemnation of Mr. Rhodes on the one side and the acquittal of the Colonial Office on the other. I will never allow that mere innuendoes and suggestions started outside this House subsequently to an inquiry of this kind are any reason why this House should reopen a complicated inquiry. To accept a principle of that kind would be to compromise the dignity of this House. If there is any ground for saying that matters were not adequately inquired into by the Committee, or that there was not sufficient evidence, I for one should not oppose the motion of the hon. Member. But in the absence of any proof of that kind, when we have nothing more than innuendo and suspicion, I say it is out of accord with the honourable traditions of this House in dealing with its Committees to accept the present motion. I go further. It is grossly unjust to the parties affected to keep alive in this way this sort of controversy. It could not be suggested that there was no colour to the attack on the honour of the Colonial Secretary or that of the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies if this House acceded to the re-opening of the inquiry. That is the only basis—and the unworthy basis, I think—on which this motion can be brought forward. I beg to say, speaking as a Member of the South African Committee, that I believe we inquired most fully into all these points. We gave up our time and an immense amount of trouble in order to arrive at a conclusion definite and final, and I shall certainly ask the House to give a decided negative to this motion.

*MR. BLAKE () Longford, S.

This is a question which vitally touches the honour and interests of the country. It is only within the last few months that the country has realised the gravity of the issues involved in the Jameson raid. We are now face to face with those issues, which will not be ended even by the close of the war, seeing that we shall have to rehabilitate the condition of affairs in South Africa, and to rebuild the shattered structure on a foundation of peace and justice, giving full proof that we are prepared to probe to the bottom the conduct of any Government department, and so to remove all ground for suspicion. Only on such a foundation can peace and goodwill ever, even in the remote future, be restored. The raid has been a main cause of the war. What stopped the mouth and stayed the hand of the Government in a period when, as they say, aggression after aggression was being made by the South African Republic? What prevented remonstrance and paralysed action when, as the Government say, abuse after abuse was being committed? What was it that stopped the mouth of the Government when the Transvaal was as they say arming in an improper and offensive manner? What prevented such action as the interests of the country in that view required? The Government declare it was the raid. Why did the raid stop it? Merely because Dr. Jameson had invaded the Transvaal? Not at all. They were paralysed by the not tin-reasonable suspicion, however unfounded it might be, that Dr. Jameson's action had behind it the Colonial Office. They were paralysed by the suspicion that there was more beneath, and that the Government or a Government Department had some knowledge of, or winked at, or were accomplices in these transactions. That very circumstance indicates that the fullest possible inquiry was necessary for the honour and the true and lasting interests of this country as an Empire, and especially for the interest and restoration of peace in South Africa. That necessity was acknowledged; it was freely conceded. A promise was made at the very earliest moment to President Kruger and Mr. Hofmeyr; that promise was repeated in the Queen's Speech; and it was acted upon in the appointment of a Committee; thereby recognising the view that the fullest possible inquiry should be held for the purpose of bringing before the world the whole circumstances and facts of the case, in order to put this country in its right and true position, so that those who had been wronged by suspicion might be vindicated, and that those against whom the finger of suspicion had been rightly pointed might also be placed in their proper position before the eyes of the world. Let me ask the House to recollect the chain of circumstances which has brought about in large measure this suspicion. For some years before 1895 it is the case of the Government that the Transvaal, or at least the Rand, and Johannesburg as its centre, was seething with disaffection and discontent, that the condition of things was growing more and more dangerous, that the discontent of the Uitlanders was becoming more and more acute, and might and would, unless the grievances were redressed, lead to a rebellion, perhaps to a revolution. That was the case in 1894 under a former Colonial Secretary and a former High Commissioner. One instance in that year was the question of commandeering, when the excitement became so great that Sir Henry Loch went to Pretoria and was to receive a great deputation at Johannesburg. President Kruger asked him as a favour not to go to Johannesburg, because it would involve disturbance. He agreed not to go, and he declared to his chief hero that the situation was most dangerous, that its gravity could not be over-estimated, and that there was the greatest probability of an explosion. At that time a policy seems to have been settled with reference to what should be done in the event of the expected rising taking place. The policy so far as the Imperial Government were concerned was that, when the rising came off, the High Commissioner should go to Johannesburg and mediate, under the view that the Transvaal authorities had shown themselves incapable of preventing anarchy there, and in order that British interests should be protected. It was understood at that time that troops should be placed on the border at Mafeking or in that neighbourhood, to escort him, and I believe they were concentrated and placed there in 1894. That was the policy of the Colonial Office. It was even then necessary to forecast an insurrection; it was necessary to settle a policy. That policy was that the High Commissioner should go up to protect British interests, with an escort of troops provided for the purpose. What happened between 1894 and 1895? According to the common story, accentuated by what we know now very clearly, the situation at Johannesburg had got very much worse. Why? It was no longer left to the arguments and persuasions and feelings of those who were suffering the grievances of those who were on the spot; but Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Beit intervened; they sent their emissaries and their cash; they proceeded to organise the insurrection which up to that time had not come off. They proceeded to stimulate the discontent, and to organise the people; they encouraged them; they provided them with money; they arranged for munitions of war; and, generally speaking, they fomented the insurrection. Under these circumstances, Mr. Rhodes, in one of his numerous capacities, as Prime Minister of the Cape, and in another, as agent of and practically the Chartered Company, represented to the High Commissioner and the Government of the Cape that the condition of things at Johannesburg was growing more acute. Who knew better? He himself was making it more acute. He understood from the High Commissioner, as Dr. Jameson also understood, that if and when—at that time it was not really "if," it was "when"; everybody was satisfied that the insurrection would come off; it was a question of months, may be of weeks, but it was quite certain to come off—therefore, I may say, not if, but when the insurrection came off the reappointed High Commissioner, Sir Hercules Robinson, was to go up. And, I presume, as this insurrection was to be still more formidable and much better organised than before, that he was not to go up unattended by troops, but that the policy of the Colonial Office would be continuous in this as in the other respect, and the High Commissioner would go up with an escort to intervene for the protection of British interests. How far he was to act and what British interests were to be specially protected we know not, nor, for this purpose, do we care. That was the policy. That being the policy, I say it was a very delicate and critical policy. When you find this imperial Government, with its positions and relations in South Africa, with its enormous influence, with its claims of paramountcy, with its undefined claims of superiority over the Transvaal State, deciding in its mind that an insurrection is sure to come off, and to come off among its own subjects, to be created by its own subjects, and that it must provide for the emergency by the protection of British interests in the way to which I have referred, you find a very delicate and critical position. It comes very near approval. I do not say that it is necessarily approval. But seeing the attitude of one Government in 1894 and the attitude; of this Government in 1895, there is a very thin partition wall between the approval or complacent assent on the one hand, and the recognition on the other hand of the sad inevitable, to be avoided if possible, but yet believed to be inevitable. That is the difference between what I may call the open Rhodes plan and the secret Rhodes plan, the former being that an insurrection was inevitable and Imperial British interests must be protected, and the latter being not indeed the Jameson raid precisely as it took place, but that an insurrection should be fomented and accomplished by Rhodes, and then that the High Commissioner was to be used. It is on this thin partition wall that the Minister must stand. This was the condition in the summer of 1895. The condition as known to the Colonial Office at that time was that the Transvaal was seething with discontent, that an insurrection was imminent at Johannesburg, and that it was necessary to forecast it and to provide for it, and that the High Commissioner was to appear. It was in this condition that Mr. Rhodes, in the summer of 1895, sent an emissary or emissaries to London to negotiate on behalf of the Chartered Company a change; in certain arrangements with the Colonial Office. What were those changes? They were the changes that secured this enormous alteration in the position of the Chartered Company—that it was to become the border authority, to possess the land for ten miles breadth along the Transvaal border, getting rid of the immediate Imperial care and responsibility, and obtaining the border territory including what has been called the "jumping off" place at Pitsani-Potlugo. Mr. Rhodes was to undertake the responsibilities which belong to the border authority, and thus he appealed happily appealed—to the commercial spirit which the Colonial Secretary combines with his Imperialistic sentiments. He bought this border-line; he bought the authority; he bought the responsibility; he bought this great power which he wields. How? He pointed out, "You are at a great expense as border authority in maintaining a large force of police at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds a year. The Company will undertake that work, and save you £ 60,000 a year." What do we, who are voting scores of millions and expending thousands of brave lives, think of £ 60,000 a year now? "We will save you £ 60,000 a year, because we will undertake that larger force: you can do with a few men to look after liquor permits and so on, but the great respon- sibilities and care and power and precautions which are all involved in the border authority you will hand over to us and we will pay the cost." Who pays the cost? The Empire handed over these powers to the Chartered Company to be handled in whose interests? In those of the company and Rhodes, of course. It followed naturally that the police, which up to that time had been essential, should be disbanded, because the Colonial Secretary was to save the public money. Arrangements were made to provide facilities for their re-enlistment in the service of the Chartered Company. It was no longer necessary to have munitions of war, Maxims, ordnance, and other things; so they were to be handed over to the Chartered Company to be duly paid for at a valuation. But it was not only there that we were to save. No; the Colonial Secretary made a better bargain. He actually saved £ 200,000 more, in the shape of a subsidy which had been promised for a railway, which sum Mr. Rhodes, so eager to get and to get at once these various powers and advantages, was ready to give up. So that for this mess of pottage, consisting of £ 600,000 a year and £ 200,000, you got the raid and the war. These arrangements lasted but a few weeks. Within a very short time the Colonial Secretary revoked the arrangement, and resumed the authority; he clipped the wings of the company even closer than before; he undertook once more the functions he had handed over; he undid as far as he could what he had done. But meantime, South Africa also was undone! Meantime the raid had occurred, proving the enormous blunder which had been made, and demonstrating the necessity for this country, if she will engage in enterprises in all the corners of the earth, at least resolving to keep the care of her own responsibilities, and to discharge them herself instead of handing them over to persons no matter how great or to chartered companies no matter how wealthy. There had been this change in the power of the Chartered Company with reference to the police force and the border; but no change that we can find had been effected in the policy of the Colonial Office, because the policy of the Colonial Office still was that when the inevitable insurrection came off—a time now to be counted almost by days, for everybody thought it would come off before peaceful, joyous Christmas time—the High Commissioner should go up; and I pre- sume he was this time to be escorted by the Chartered Company's forces, which were being concentrated ostensibly for a peaceful purpose, to guard the railway tracks and culverts and so forth against the natives, at that convenient point from which they might be drawn to act either as an escort to the High Commissioner or as invaders of the Republic. It is quite clear from telegrams which passed between the High Commissioner and the Colonial Secretary after the raid that the Colonial Secretary took full responsibility for the plan of Lord Rosmead, going up as soon as the expected insurrection took place, doubtless accompanied by the troops the Colonial Secretary was arranging the Chartered Company should have. Now who can doubt that this change was that which made the raid not merely possible but easy? Who can doubt that it was the circumstance of the Chartered Company being made the border authority, being given the responsibility of keeping the peace, forsooth! on the border of the Transvaal, having handed over to it the police and the power to have these guns and men and horses there, which made the raid possible and easy? We know that that was the main object of the transaction in the mind of Mr. Rhodes. He was willing to pay £ 200,000 and £ 60,000 a year—a hard bargain, as he thought—simply because it was necessary by a fixed date—a date fixed with reference to the intended breaking out of the insurrection at Johannesburg—to have a position and a force which would enable him to send troops into the Transvaal. May I ask how it is possible for a moment to wonder that suspicion should be excited in the minds of those who suffered by these operations, who saw these great changes made by which the Company was made the border authority and given all these facilities on the eve of this misuse, if you please so to call it, of that power and those facilities? Who can wonder that they put two and two together, and believed that the one followed on the other in the minds of people here as well as in the minds of people in South Africa? Can you blame them? Put yourselves in their place. Is there a man here who, had he been in their situation, would not have indulged a suspicion—nay, a conviction amounting to moral certainty—in his mind that that which was so enormous a change, for so inadequate a cause, and hurried in such a way, was done in order that it might be made possible and easy for that to happen which in point of fact did result in a few weeks? I say all these things in order to show you what it is this Empire has to answer in this matter. Our task is to vindicate our position in South Africa and in the eyes of the world at large. I state great cause for the suspicion in order that you may see what it is you have to clear away. There was then a case for inquiry, as everybody agreed, though perhaps until we prosecuted that inquiry they did not see how great that case was. That inquiry was essential, because the honour of the whole country was involved in the honour of a great Department of State and of a leading Minister of the Crown. My opinion has always been that there was no man in the world so deeply interested, as far as his enduring fame is concerned, in the granting of this inquiry as the Minister who is said to be attacked tonight. I entered upon that inquiry in what I believe to be the proper spirit namely, a judicial spirit. I desired, as I desire to-day, that the honour of this country and the honour of Ministers of State should be fully vindicated. I believed them then, as I believe them now, to be entitled to far more than the ordinary presumption of innocence which we give to the commonest accused until they are proved guilty. I believed when I looked at the papers there was a still stronger reason for drawing a very cogent inference in favour of the innocence of the Minister of the specific charge which had been made against him generally, notwithstanding the suspicion which might not unnaturally be evoked by what had taken place. That reason remains; I still feel, as I have always felt, its force. I aver that no man can read the documents, whether they be telegrams or despatches, which were addressed by the Colonial Secretary to the African authorities immediately upon hearing of the raid, without finding it extremely difficult to conceive that they are the telegrams and despatches of a man who was an accomplice in the matter of that raid. That is the fair and reasonable inference to be drawn from the documents. It is not conclusive; certainly not. It may be said, "What else could he do? His only chance was to take that road." That is what may be said by his adversaries. I say it not. But we have to deal with these things with reference to adversaries abroad and at home, and with reference to suspicions not unnaturally engendered by the course of events to which I have alluded with reference to complicity in the Rhodes plan, if not in the Jameson raid. Although I thought his words and his acts at that time were those of an innocent man, I considered he had made most tremendous blunders in the negotiations of the summer before, and that his character for prescience and statesmanship had been permanently tarnished by his not having seen that he ought to have retained the-burdens and responsibilities of Empire instead of attempting to shift them for a few paltry thousands of pounds to the shoulders of the Chartered Company. I thought that the man who, knowing the condition of the Transvaal, forecasting its future and providing against it in the manner I have described, yet let out of his hands and turned over to the Chartered Company the peace of this Empire, committed a tremendous blunder. But that is not what he is accused of tonight. Those who accuse him accuse him of something very different and much worse, of the Jameson raid. I, who accuse him not of that offence, aver that the case is such that his reputation—and the reputation of the country in this matter is largely bound up with his own—demands a full inquiry, for such has not yet taken place. No man in this House will rejoice more than myself if, as I believe may well be the case, that inquiry should result in his full, plain, and clear vindication before the world, which at this time cannot be said to have been achieved. The negotiations for these tremendous changes in the summer of 1895 were conducted with the Colonial Office by a group of Mr. Rhodes's emissaries. We who know the inner working of the minds and intentions, of these men are aware, of course, that they were endeavouring to pursue a path in which they might mislead some, whatever they might have thought it prudent or necessary to let out to others. These negotiations were conducted by men who had Mr. Rhodes's full confidence, and at the moment he was talking "railway," "peace," and "border authority" at the Colonial Office, he was talking "raid," "rebellion," "violence," "arms," and "incursions" with these men across the wires. What can be better evidence—I do not mean legal evidence, because as such they are worthless against the Colonial Office—than those cables? What can be better evidence of the real mind of these men than their own contemporaneous cables, disclosing what happened from day to day, what their wishes, intentions, hopes, and aims were, and stating their progress in achieving those things? What can be a better clue to the truth of the matter What could give a better light by which to examine these men, who, upon this very theory had been acting most dishonourably, and perhaps adding the small additional crime of untruth to the crime they were committing against their country? What could be more important for the real investigation of the truth as to complicity with the Rhodes plan than these cables? I felt this so strongly that the very first suggestion I made to the Committee was that we ought to get the cables before we examined any witnesses. I said that we wanted them in order to test and check the witnesses by them. My suggestion was not adopted. Mr. Rhodes was examined, and it was not until long after he had left the country and after many delays that we got some of the cables—only some. It was not until much later that we learned where to procure the others. It has been said that the Committee agreed that Mr. Rhodes should not speak of these cables. There was something said at the earlier part of his examination in that sense by one member of the Committee, but when I examined him I persisted in prosecuting an inquiry as to the whereabouts of these cables, and it was not until I had got from him that he had left them in South Africa and could not tell where they were that I stopped. If I had been able to find out who had them I should at once have pressed the Committee to call for them. If I had been able to find out who could tell where they were I should have asked the Committee to summon the person. We were not so slack in our duty as some censorious critics allege. As a matter of fact, the inquiry was exhausted in the case of Mr. Rhodes. At a later stage of the proceedings, before the 1st June, it turned out that Mr. Hawksley had full copies of the cables in his desk at his office. Those copies were more valuable than the originals, because they were annotated and had marginal notes, those marginal notes being the notes of the officials of the Colonial Secretary, made while the copies were in their possession. Those copies were retained by Mr. Hawks ley as being specially valuable, under the specific instructions of Mr. Rhodes, just because they had upon them those notes. Would you not like to see them? They are what we want. They are acknowledged to be relevant and to impute complicity to the Colonial Office. Mr. Hawksley declined to produce them, and the Committee decided that they would deliberate as to what they should do upon this refusal to produce the documents. It had been ruled clearly under the advice of the Attorney General that he was bound to produce. I moved on the 1st of June that we should report to this House the refusal of Mr. Hawksley to produce the cablegrams in his possession with the annotations of the Colonial Office. I pointed out that this House had appointed us to make a full inquiry, and I thought it was our duty to let the House know that we were being thwarted in our efforts to do our duty because of the refusal of the witness to produce important documents. I knew that would not interfere for a moment with the prosecution of the work of the Committee. Our report of Mr. Hawksley's refusal would have done no more than this—it would have handed over to the House the power and the duty of deciding what was the best thing to do under the circumstances. But the Committee decided not to hand over to the House that power by letting it know officially what were the facts that it might determine whether it would do anything with Mr. Hawksley or not. It was said that such a course might interfere with other proceedings, but the responsibility would have been with the House of Commons, and the Committee had in my judgment no light to prevent the House having the power and responsibility of deciding this matter. But that course was declined, and thereupon my hon. friend the Member for Northampton said— As you won't proceed against Mr. Hawksley, you stopped him in the middle of his evidence, technically he is in the witness-box, and I move that he be recalled. You won't give us the documents, then let us complete his oral evidence. But the Committee declined even to do that, and Mr. Hawksley's examination was closed without being completed. At a later stage, when counsel for Mr. Rhodes had made a declaration with reference to this particular matter, indicating that it was probably for the avoidance of scandal, and in that sort of way for the public interest that no further investigation should be made, I renewed my motion that this matter should be reported to the House, but my motion met with the same fate as the previous one. Whereupon I, for my part, withdrew, upon the ground that the Committee had declined to take the steps which were necessary to enable it to complete the materials requisite for making its own report, or for giving the facts to this House upon which the House and the country might fairly form its own judgment. The Committee proceeded to make what was necessarily a lame, perfunctory and incomplete Report. What has happened since? The conspirators have been largely whitewashed and reinstated, and the honour of Mr. Rhodes has been vindicated by the Colonial Secretary. The right hon. Gentleman suggested tonight that he had vindicated Mr. Rhodes's honour in respect of accusations made against him in regard to one thing only, and that was that in what he had done he had been animated by sordid motives, and that this was what he was alluding to in the former debate. Some, accusations were made which I daresay were not well-founded, but if hon. Gentlemen will take the trouble to look at the examination of Mr. Rhodes, in the course of the questions I put him they will see that, although his object might not be the acquirement of filthy lucre, he had large interests and managed the concerns of other large capitalists. They will see that material interests had a great deal to do with the business, and that it was only those who bad no means who craved political rights. What those who had gained great wealth wanted was more wealth still. What the Colonial Secretary did say—as I remember in a speech which shocked me then, and the recollection of which shocks me still—was that the personal honour of Mr. Rhodes was vindicated upon the theory of the application of lax revolutionary ethics. He pointed out that since it was necessary to assume the role of the conspirator or the revolutionist all you have to consider is whether the revolutionist is right or wrong. The common test to apply is whether the rebellion succeeds or not. If it succeeds it is right. Mr. Rhodes was a conspirator, and he failed, and, therefore, he was wrong. But what seems to have been forgotten is that the proposal of the Colonial Secretary is an enormous extension of this principle. I wonder how far the right hon. Gentleman would apply these ethics to the Fenian revolutionary conspiracy; how we would treat the honour of a Fenian, enlisted in the Line, persuading his comrades. But, as I say, he goes much further. What State was it that Mr. Rhodes was deceiving: He was not deceiving only the Transvaal against which he was conspiring. No, he was deceiving the Empire of which he was an honoured servant; he was deceiving the Queen, of whom he was a Privy Councillor; he was deceiving Her Majesty, whose Prime Minister at the Cape he was; he was deceiving the High Commissioner, to whom, as chairman of the Chartered Company, he was bound by the conditions of the Charter to freely communicate, and to whom he freely communicated lies. not truth. He was deceiving the various companies he managed. Now I may admire and honour the man who takes his life, his property, and his estate in his own hand and demands equal justice for his fellow-countrymen by taking part in a revolution. But if I find a man of one State who obtains high office and emoluments of various orders, which alone enabled Mr. Rhodes to draw together and formulate this conspiracy, who prostitutes every position he has acquired, who abuses every trust reposed in him, who deceives every person with whom he is connected, and who takes and uses all these powers and positions in order by the abuse and degradation of them to achieve his nefarious purpose against another State, then when I hear the Colonial Secretary say that the personal honour of that man is fully vindicated, I can only say that I do not know what the standard of honour is which this Minister of the Imperial Crown adopts. I do not observe that the account which was read of this transaction by the hon. Member below me—the account of the existence in the hands of a Member here, during the debate, of copies of these cables, far production if required for Mr. Rhodes's purpose—was alluded to by the Colonial Secretary in his defence. It cannot be discarded as one of the many elements which make for that situation of doubt, perplexity, and suspicion which demands in my judgment a further inquiry. The hon. Member opposite has spoken of reopening a closed inquiry, but the inquiry has never been closed. We were, unable to close it, because we had not obtained the complete materials for a judgment. We so reported, and you have opposite me tonight the Minister who at one time had in his hand the key which would open his own vindication, and who although henolonger holds the key can now unlock the box which contains those documents by assenting to this motion. And yet he declines!

MR. WHARTON () Yorkshire, W. R., Ripon

I have listened with interest and even with admiration to the speech which has just been made. I only wish that the speeches to which listened at the commencement of this debate had had more of the same tone and the same colour as that to which we have just listened. I wish also that the speeches of the mover and the seconder had had the same height and breadth and the same justness. We have not had in the last speech any of that needless acrimony which abounded in the opening speech of the mover in regard to my right hon. friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies. What is the proposition we have before us to-night? It is, if the hon. Member who has just sat down will allow me to say so, the reopening of an inquiry which I, for one, consider was justly closed when the Report of the South African Committee was made. What is the one object and the solo ground for the reopening of this inquiry? It is that we should ascertain the contents of certain telegrams which were not shown to us under circumstances which I know it is now unnecessary for me to detail to the House. It is for that one object that we are to have the reopening of this inquiry—to ascertain in what way the contents of those telegrams might influence the new Committee who would deal with the subject. Does this House really think that it would obtain any evidence which would lead to a different conclusion to that which the last Committee came to? Could a new Committee condemn in stronger or in plainer language the actions of the prime mover and originator of that raid than was contained in that Report? I beg leave to state that plainer and stronger language than was used in that Report with regard to the action of Mr. Rhodes could not be used by any other Committee or any other tribunal, wherever it came from. If that be the case, I want to know what is the use of having a fresh inquiry. I think it is a very different motive which prompts the mover of this resolution to ask for another inquiry, for his speech contains nothing else but an exhibition of rancorous animosity, which we have seen exhibited in this House towards the Colonial Secretary far too much of late. I say that that is some what an unworthy motive to ask this House to reopen an inquiry such as that. I was glad to hear the Leader of the Opposition speak to-night, because I knew that I should hear again his denial of all feeling towards the Colonial Secretary with regard to his having any part or parcel in the inception of the raid. I knew he would express that opinion again to-night. The right hon. Gentleman has expressed a wish that there should be a further inquiry, because he himself is not satisfied with regard to our examination of those documents. I again ask him is it worth while that you should have another inquiry upon this one point, and again open these sores, which, to a certain extent, have been healed? [Irish cries of "No, no!"] I know hon. Members opposite wish to keep those sores open. [An HON. MEMBER from the Irish benches: What about the war?] Well, I desire the war to cease just as much as any other hon. Member does, but do you think that by opening inquiries of this sort you will tend to close that war? On the contrary, I think you will tend to revive animosity, and instead of healing you will open those sores, and that is why I hope there will be no granting of a fresh inquiry into this case. Has there not already been the fullest inquiry into these matters? There has been more than one inquiry, for there was an inquiry held by the Cape Parliament. They reported fully, and their Report is on all fours with the Report issued by our Committee, as far as I can see, in regard to every circumstance of that raid. The raid and its origin has been fully reported upon by the Committee, and I venture to assert that a fresh inquiry is needless, that it would be useless, and would only lead to further harm.


I am some what surprised that the hon. and learned Member opposite asserts that on this side of the House there is any feeling of personal rancour against the Colonial Secretary. I am not aware that such an imputation rests on any one on this side of the House in regard to a feeling of personal rancour towards the right hon. Gentleman, but I am bound to say I am surprised at any hon. Member opposite having the coolness to get up and complain of the feeling of rancour entertained on this side of the House, and expressed in speeches on this side, against the Colonial Secretary, when I remember the rancorous attacks and the abuse that was levelled against the Colonial Secretary by Conservatives one and all when he was a Liberal on this side of the House. I regret the decision which apparently the Government has come to not to have an inquiry into this matter. The Colonial Secretary has put it on the ground that he did not care for the opinion of foreign countries, that he did not care for the Afrikanders in the Cape, and that he only cared for the opinion of this country, which entirely agreed with him. I think a division will show that everybody in this country does not entirely agree with him. I do not think it is fair to separate the whole world into sheep and goats, and to say that the good sheep are those who believe in the Colonial Secretary, and the wicked goats are those who dare to question his action. Much has been said by the Colonial Secretary about insinuations being levelled on this side of the House against him. He asks why we do not make a fair and frank statement expressing our opinions of what it is we accuse the Colonial Secretary of instead of simply making insinuations. There have been no insinuations made by any single gentleman on this side of the House. [Ministerial cries of "Oh, oh!"] Do you accuse the mover? [An HON. MEMBER: Yes, we do!] Has anybody answered the challenge of my hon. friend to the Colonial Secretary to point out where the insinuations were? Do you accuse my hon. and learned friend who seconded of making insinuations? [Ministerial cries of "Yes!"] Certainly he did not make insinuations, although he expressed his opinion very frankly. The point of my hon. friend was that during the inquiry certain facts had come out which he thought produced a suspicion, which he thought demanded that there should be a further inquiry. You may object to that and disagree with it, but surely it is hardly fair to call that an insinuation. I have listened to the speeches of both the mover and the seconder, and I did not hear them make any sort of insinuations. The Colonial Secretary objected to the particular time at which this motion was brought forward. He said that war was raging and he knew that our object was to get him out of the Government. I frankly say that I think it would be a most blessed thing for this country if the right hon. Gentlemen were to be withdrawn from any Government of which he is a member; but we do not bring that forward, and you have no right to say that we are precluded from bringing forward a motion of this kind, because some of us believe that it would be better for the country if the right hon. Gentleman withdrew from public affairs. The right hon. Gentleman spoke of his own denial, and the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Stroud harped upon it also. The Colonial Secretary has absolutely denied this; but does anybody doubt it? I do not consider that the denial of a gentleman who happens to be a Privy Councillor is worth any more than the denial of any Member of this House. Since Mr. Rhodes is a Privy Councillor I think the balance is in favour of the Member. If merely the denial of the Colonial Secretary was to suffice and there was to be no inquiry, why did you assent to any inquiry at all? The inquiry was into the action of the Colonial Office. According to your view-it was sufficient for the Colonial Secretary to get up and say he had no connection with the raid and there is no need for an inquiry, and upon that ground you ought to have excluded an inquiry. But the Colonial Secretary made a most extraordinary statement in the debate which followed in regard to Mr. Rhodes's character. The right hon. Gentleman contended that Mr. Rhodes had been so shocked at persons considering he had sordid motives that he only applied his remarks to the accusation of sordid motives. I am going to read out what the Colonial Secretary said, because it is very important to see whether he was right or not. This is an extract from his speech— But as to one thing I am perfectly convinced—that while the fault of Mr. Rhodes is about as great a fault as a politician or a statesman can commit, there has been nothing proved—and in my opinion there exists nothing—which affects Mr. Rhodes's personal position as a man of honour. It is said by some Members who take a different view that he deceived this person and that person. That is perfectly true; but that is part of the original offence. If a man goes into a revolution he may be right or he may be wrong. In this case Mr. Rhodes was wrong. But if a man goes into a revolution it follows on, as a matter of course, that he must deceive other people.'* I ask whether that was a real description of the defence on the part of the Colonial Secretary of what he said upon that occassion—that he had not given a general certificate to Mr. Rhodes as an honourable man notwithstanding what he had done before the Committee. Mr. Rhodes has, I daresay, like many other people, two qualities—his love of power and his love of money—and he seems to have got on uncommonly well in his desire to act as a patriot for his country. I do not want to raise the point as to which quality is the strongest, but when the right hon. Gentleman tells us he was so horrified at the charge of Mr. Rhodes being actuated by sordid motives, he ought to look a little closer into the evidence before the Committee, and he would find that Mr. Rhodes took great care to make a very great deal of money out of his business. My hon. friend the Member for Longford, who spoke just before me, pointed out what happened before the Committee, and I defy any human being in this House to justify before any jury in this country the difference between the finding of the Committee as signed by the Chairman and the certificate of honour that was given by the Colonial Secretary to Mr. Rhodes two days afterwards. I have been a Member of this House so long that I really thought that nothing anybody could say here would shock me; but I was really shocked by the ethics of the Colonial Secretary, It would be just as reasonable to argue that if one man poisoned another in order to inherit his wealth the poisoning was justifiable because it was done in order to get his money. The Colonial Secretary took great credit to himself because he proposed that there should be some inquiry into the action of Mr. Rhodes and the raiders; but the right hon. Gentleman could not help himself. The matter had been brought before the Cape Parliament, and if there had not been an inquiry at the instance of the right hon. Gentleman, it would have been proposed by some other Member of the House, and the Government would have been unable to refuse it. With regard to the composition of the Committee, I do not think the right hon. Gentleman correctly stated the facts. It was suggested that the Secretary of State for War, who was a * See The Parliamentary Debates. [Fourth Series.] Vol. li., p. 1169. friend of Mr. Rhodes, and had served on an African Committee before, should be put upon this one, and in the same way I was puton, because admittedly I was known to be opposed to the policy of Mr. Rhodes. Those matters were discussed in the House and well known, but it was a revelation to us when two or three gentlemen were secretly put on the Committee without the knowledge of this House, as nominees of the Chartered Company. I am not now speaking of the letter of the Colonial Secretary, but his speech. In defending that letter he stated that it was desirable that certain gentlemen should be put on the Committee in order to look after the interests of the Chartered Company and Mr. Rhodes. His speech was a clover piece of rhetoric. He abused his opponents, and somewhat twisted his facts. ["Oh, oh!"] I do not wish to say anything displeasing to hon. Members opposite—he stated his facts as he wished the House to understand them. He came forward as an injured innocent. and bitterly complained of the persecution he had to undergo. When I was placed on the Committee, while I had a very strong opinion as to Mr. Rhodes and his policy, I had no idea of any sort or kind that the Colonial Office had been connected with what had taken place in South Africa any more than I thought the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary was a consenting party. But when I sat on the Committee, circumstances came out which shook my confidence in the Colonial Office not being mixed up more or less. I did not sign the majority Report, I had a Report to myself, and in that Report I said I did not consider that the evidence submitted to the Committee proved that the Colonial Secretary had been privy to what had taken place; but at the same time I regretted that the Committee had not probed the matter to the bottom. The first question was whether Mr. Harris—Mr. Rhodes's agent had stated to the Colonial Secretary or anyone at the Colonial Office—even down to the humblest clerk—that there was any object in obtaining the strip of land other than for the purpose of a railroad; that there was another object, and that was it was to be used as a "jumping off" ground for the purposes of the raid. Mr. Harris stated it was for the railroad, but in an indirect manner that it was to be used in any direction, to maintain order and to protect the people of Johannesburg. Mr. Fairfield is dead, and the Colonial Secretary denies that, and I do not attach the slightest importance to what Mr. Harris said: but what I attach importance to is the fact that the Colonial Secretary, Lord Selborne, and Mr. Harris all agreed that the following I conversation had taken place— Dr. HARRIS: I could tell you something in confidence. MR. CHAMBERLAIN: I do not want to hear any confidential information. I am here in an official capacity. I can only hear information of which I can make official use. I was very much surprised at that statement, because Mr. Harris having stated that, I should have thought that the Colonial Secretary would have said, "Something is being concealed from mo," and that before he consented to handover this land he would have insisted on knowing, not in confidence, what Mr. Harris wished to tell him. With regard to the telegrams, if the telegrams are true no one could doubt but what there was knowledge and approval of the raid by the Colonial Secretary; there is no room for misconception. But the only thing against that is that there had been a pre-arrangement between Mr. Rhodes and his agents that they should vamp up telegrams showing that the Colonial Secretary was aware of the raid, and that those telegrams should be shown to the people in order to work up enthusiasm. There is some improbability in the hypothesis, because in every telegram it is taken that the Colonial Secretary knew of the raid, even to little details. There was no other mode at that time of conveying information to Mr. Rhodes, and Mr. Rhodes was staking everything on Dr. Jameson's valour. He would naturally want to know what the Colonial Office's attitude would be on the subject. There was no separate telegram to tell him what it was, and these were secret telegrams between him and his agents, and at the time they were sent it was never supposed that any of them would come out. I rejected that evidence because the witnesses admitted that they had been deceiving Lord Rosmead and other people, and in the face of the denial of the Colonial Secretary it was impossible to connect him with such a matter. The telegrams were not obtained because notice had not been given to the German Cable Company through which they had been sent, owing to the other cable having broken down at the time. There was considerable discussion in order to obtain them, and in the end I asked the Colonial Secretary whether he would use his influence with Mr. Rhodes in order to obtain these telegrams, but he said he would not do so. I could not conceive why he should refuse, but he said he had no influence with Mr. Rhodes. He had very great influence with Mr. Rhodes; he had that gentleman's fate in his hands. He could have done away with the charter at any time, and he had sufficient influence to. obtain the removal of Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Beit from the directorate of the company.


I refused absolutely to use any influence whatever. The hon. Gentleman says that in consequence of my influence these gentlemen were withdrawn from the board of the company. They tendered their resignations. The Chartered Company asked for my advice, and I refused absolutely to interfere.


The right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary has already stated in regard to the letters, published, of Mr. Fairfield that they were written by his instructions, and he accepted the responsibility for them.


Hear, hear!


I thought the right hon. Gentleman when he made that statement had forgotten those letters: in one of which he called upon these gentlemen to withdraw, and in the other he said nothing would be done with the charter pending judicial proceedings.


I shall be very happy to give the hon. Member the explanation he seems to desire. I have already explained that the understanding was that these resignations would be accepted. If they were accepted, then the Chartered Company separated themselves from Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Beit, with whom it was impossible to deal until their conduct had been inquired into. If, on the contrary, they had established a solidarity between themselves and Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Beit, who were known, by the telegrams which had been recently published, to be connected with the raid, then, of course, they would have accepted responsibility for the raid, and in that case I wished to have my hands entirely free to come to the House of Commons and make any proposal I thought right.


I quite, accept the statement of the right hon. Gentleman. He has been good enough to put clearly in a few words what I desired to say. On May 21 Mr. Hawksley was a witness before the Committee, and he then admitted that he had copies of these telegrams. He was asked to produce them, and asked for time to consider it. On 26th May he refused to produce them, and he was informed the Committee would consider what course to take. On 28th May Mr. Hawksley was called, and informed that he would be reported to the House, but on 1st June the Committee decided not to report him. That was most remarkable, and neither my hon. friend behind me nor myself can be said to have concurred in that decision, because we did everything we could to have him reported. Another remarkable thing was that, in the middle of the examination of Mr. Hawksley, who was an extremely communicative witness, Mr. Justice Bigham, then a member of the Committee, and the hon. Member for Stroud, protested against the examination being continued, and said we ought not to continue it until it was decided what we were going to do with regard to his refusal to produce the telegrams. On 1st June, after it had been decided not to report Mr. Hawksley, I moved that he be recalled, but I was outvoted by the Committee, and the examination was not resumed. Now when a witness is called before a Committee every member of the Committee has a right to examine him and ask what questions he pleases. I never knew that right refused before, but in consequence of that decision I was prevented from asking certain questions which I desired. There was no mystery at all in the matter. What happened was this: obstruction was rampant on the Committee. All the lawyers on the Conservative and Unionist side were perpetually putting forward petty nisi prius police court objections to questions, and we could not make headway against them. It was felt by a good many Liberals that if that went on the session would come to a close and there would be no Report. As my right hon. friend the Member for West Monmouth said, there was not the slightest idea of the Committee being reappointed, and as they wanted that there should be a Report, their only chance was not to press the issue against the Colonial Secretary. I want to know what quid pro quo they got for that. I have some idea that there was an understanding that if they did not press these matters against the Colonial Secretary, on the other hand the obstruction would not take place. I have heard also that there was a sort of understanding, not only that there should be a Report about Mr. Rhodes, but that the views of the right hon. Member for West Monmouth in regard to the strictures that were to be made against Mr. Rhodes should be accepted. Whether that is the fact or not I do not know. These Liberal Gentlemen thought they could not kill two hares, but they were determined to kill one. I was not consulted, but I quite admit that there was a good deal to be said on that side of the question. If I had been consulted I should have disagreed, because I consider that the essential of that Committee was that there should be no evasion of any sort of investigation into the relations of the Colonial Office with the raiders or the conspiracy for the Jameson raid. It was obvious that Mr. Kruger had his suspicions with regard to the raid, and had there been any sort of shirking of the Committee then Mr. Kruger's suspicions might have been roused and difficulties might have arisen. It turned out that I was entirely right. There have been many new facts in regard to this. I have already alluded to the, fact of the astounding speech in which the right hon. the Colonial Secretary gave a certificate; of honour to Mr. Rhodes. Then then was an interview with Mr. Hawksley on July 15th, in which he is reported to have said that the Committee implied that Mr. Rhodes in this was deceiving his subordinates, and acting without reasonable grounds. Mr. Hawksley said he was astonished to read this allegation, for there were members of the Committee who knew as well as be did that this condemnation of Mr. Rhodes was unmerited. That is a direct accusation by Mr. Hawksley, the Solicitor of the Chartered Company, that certain members of the Committee committed one of the most atrocious crimes; that knowing perfectly well that Mr. Rhodes was not guilty of the charges made against him they declared him guilty. And yet, to my surprise, the Colonial Secretary took no action in the matter. That roused my suspicion. Again, what further awoke my suspicion was that Mr. Rhodes was not punished. Why was he not punished?' He remains a Privy Councillor. Another thing I have never yet understood is why the Colonial Secretary has persistently I refused to produce what is called the! "Hawksley correspondence"—certain letters which passed in June between the Colonial Secretary and Mr. Hawksley. Mr. Hawksley has practically told us that he considered if that correspondence were published it would seriously compromise the Colonial Secretary. If it would not, why, in the name of goodness, does the right hon. Gentleman not produce it? We have asked him over and over again, and he prefers to remain under that accusation. These are the reasons we consider—without any insinuation and without any innuendo—in the interest of the country, for the honour and the good name of the country, and the good name of the right hon. Gentleman himself, we ought to have further inquiry. If you refuse that inquiry, well and good. We have done our duty, and we shall leave the country to judge between you and us.

*MR. JAMES LOWTHER () Kent, Thanet

This question has been brought up on two grounds, with neither of which am I in sympathy. First let me deal with the innuendoes thrown out against my right hon. friend the Colonial Secretary. My right hon. friend has declared upon his oath, and upon what, in my judgment, is of far more importance than any oath—on his honour as a Member of this House, that he has no knowledge of the transactions that have been made the ground of these innuendoes. The other ground took the shape of a violent personal attack on Mr. Rhodes. That also is not a matter into which I shall go. I would venture, however, to ask hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House to approach this subject from the House of Commons standpoint. The House of Commons appointed a Committee, but it was selected in a very bad way and in a manner which could not have been more calculated to ensure a breakdown, for it possessed no elements of a judicial character about its composition. It set to work in a most leisurely way, and never appears to have thought about giving preliminary instructions as to the production of telegrams and important documents until too late to ensure their preservation. According to the hon. Member for Northampton one of the most important telegraph companies was not even communicated with until everything was destroyed which could have thrown light upon the subject under inquiry. This Committee met only twice a week, and, composed as it was largely of busy Members of the House, who ought never to have been put on it at all, it was difficult to continue its labours with effect. I should have thought that this House, desiring to obtain the information required, would have appointed a Committee possessing judicial attributes, limited in numbers, and which should have sat die in diem. My object in referring to this is that we ought now to consider whether, our Committee having been defied and refused the information which it desired, we ought to allow ourselves to sit down under that defiance. I venture to say that the House of Commons has not been in the habit of allowing itself to be flouted. The course, I think, which this House should have adopted was to confess frankly that it had been disappointed with the action of the Committee. I am not going to deny that I shall vote in favour of fuller inquiry largely on the ground that I have no confidence in the former Committee. I venture to say that the Committee conducted the inquiry in a manner that has brought the House itself into discredit; and the best thing the House can do is to place this inquiry into other hands, who will conduct it to a legitimate end. Without, therefore, casting any aspersion on any person, least of all on my right hon. friend who, in his conclusive speech, showed that there was no shadow of foundation for any of the charges made against him, I venture to say that everyone of us is bound to consider the credit of this House, and that we should be justified in selecting another tribunal for carrying on this inquiry right through—not allowing anybody to hold back anything, but insisting on the truth being known. In that way we shall restore confidence in this House, and go a long way towards removing the very just suspicions which have been so mucharoused throughout this country and the world.


It is not my intention to occupy the time of the House for any long space. I wish principally to address myself to the subject from the point of view of a member of this much-maligned Committee. In fact, I believe that if by some misfortune the twelve o'clock rule had been suspended, we should have sat on here to all hours in the morning listening to a, succession of speeches by all the members of that Committee. Another thing which strikes me as odd is that I do not think I have heard anyone say a good word of the Committee except the members of it themselves. I will endeavour to explain to the House, at any rate, how innocent. as it appears to me, was the general action and conduct of the Committee. Let me in the first place dispose of a surmise, a report, a suspicion which we heard of at the time, and which has even bubbled up occasionally in the debate to-night—a suspicion that among the members of the Committee there was something known, that some understanding had been communicated to them, some arrangement come to, which influenced their action. I can only say for myself—and I am also sure every other member of the Committee will say it, though I am not obliged to speak for them—that I heard nothing, I was told nothing, I did not hear of anyone else hearing anything or being told anything. There was no bargaining, no communication, or understanding, or arrangement from beginning to end. The matter was a perfectly simple one. What occurred was simply this. These telegrams were demanded of Mr. Hawksley, and he refused to produce them, not because of any unwillingness of his own, but because he had not received the authority of his principal. His principal at the Cape refused to give him authority. Let the House consider the position in which the Committee found itself. It was getting on towards the end of the session. We might have reported a ease to the House, as my hon. friend the Member for Northampton thinks we ought to have done; but then there would have been a little delay, and Mr. Hawksley would have been brought to the bar of the House. The usual proceeding would have been gone through—a proceeding which is not always very dignified or very successful, and which in this case would have been almost farcial, because undoubtedly MR. Hawksley would have persevered in this controversy, and all you could do would be to send him to the Clock Tower, where he would have remained until the end of the session, which was not distant. That punishment of Mr. Hawksley would not have been great, and after all you would have been punishing the wrong man, because it was not Mr. Hawksley but Mr. Rhodes who was at fault. Then it was said that we should have called home Mr. Rhodes. You may call Mr. Rhodes from South Africa, but will Mr. Rhodes come? I do not know if there is a proper means of exercising the authority of a Committee of the House of Commons to extract an unwilling personage from South Africa, but if there is it would at least have taken a considerable time to do so, and either of those courses, or both combined, would have prevented the Committee from reporting during that session. Now, it was vitally important that the Committee should report without further delay, important for the peace of South Africa, to satisfy the public mind there as well as here, and for the vindication of the position of the country in the world. We therefore, had all those difficulties before us if we were to proceed to enforce the production of the telegrams. But, after all, what were the telegrams, and were we so very sure that they would be worth the trouble of enforcing their production, when we got them? It so happened that we had an opportunity of testing this matter. We were able to obtain certain telegrams of an exactly similar kind to the refused telegrams, and those were the telegrams known as the Miss Flora Shaw telegrams. They could be taken as a fair example of what the other telegrams would be. When the Miss Flora Shaw telegrams were examined, I am bound to say they did not contain anything—I will not say there was nothing of a mysterious and odd appearance in them, but they contained nothing which was not capable of being explained in some kind of satisfactory way by a clever witness. There was nothing in them on which a good face could not be put, and there was nothing which constituted anything like a direct case against anyone connected with the Imperial company. That being so, I confess, as a member of the Committee, that I had to balance in my mind the advantages and disadvantages, and I thought on the whole—and i still think—that with the then existing knowledge we were perfectly justified in taking the course we did. But there was something more than the telegrams, and to that my hon. friend the Member for Northampton has referred; there was the examination of Mr. Hawksley. He was examined as to a series of communications which he had with the Colonial Office. There, again, let the House put itself in the position of the members of the Committee. We had heard so much of extraordinary disclosures that were to be made, and when the disclosures were put to the touch they were generally found to be of very small value. I was not then so well aware as I am now from things which have come out since of the nature and extent of the transactions and communications that might have passed between Mr. Hawksley and the Colonial 'Office. If I were asked to say which I thought was the more important and the more likely to throw light on the events of those times, I should give the preference to the letters passing between Mr. Hawksley and the Colonial Office over the telegrams. I do not think that the public would be in the least enlightened if we were to get access to the latter. But as I say, we had no direct knowledge then—not so much as now—of what they might contain, and in the meantime we had to proceed with the business of the committee. Mr. Hawksley had undoubtedly flouted the Committee and flouted Parliament, and it would have been rather an extraordinary thing in the circumstances to have recalled him, and to have proceeded with the examination of this contumacious person as if nothing had happened. Those were the perfectly simple and straightforward reasons which governed the Committee in deciding that there should be no further examination of Mr. Hawksley. I have stated plainly and without ambiguity what I recollect of the circumstances of the case; but I think the House will see that matters do not now stand exactly as they stood then. Let me say at once that if this was a question of some alleged misconduct of a Minister some years ago—a mere breach of duty on his part or of his Department which had not been adequately looked into I should think it hardly worth the while of the House of Commons to reopen an old controversy or an old quarrel. But this is a much more serious matter. It is not the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman individually that is concerned. It is the estimate formed by the world at large, and by our neighbours in South Africa, and by our own people, of the character of British Ministers, of British Governments, of the British Parliament, and of the British people. Undoubtedly this inquiry was an inconclusive inquiry. A very few days after it had ended we had a debate in this House, and I voted with my hon. friends near me for an Amendment to the effect that we regretted the inconclusive nature of the inquiry. Sir, there has been engendered over this matter, by all the circumstances which have occurred, a degree of suspicion which is eminently injurious to our country; and I am bound to say that if anyone has reason to be surprised, or ground to complain, that a motion of this kind is brought forward, it certainly is not the Colonial Secretary, because it is the Colonial Secretary's strange conduct which has to a large extent encouraged and fanned the very feeling of suspicion and uneasiness which exists. I am not going to go over the history of his coming to the House and throwing his æ gis over Mr. Rhodes after the Report of the Committee condemning Mr. Rhodes's conduct. The right hon. Gentleman tonight explained that he merely said that Mr. Rhodes had done nothing inconsistent with the conduct of a man of honour, because he did not consider him guilty of what he had been accused—namely, sordid and selfish aims and purposes. That is not the question, and that, I venture to say, is not the question with which the right hon. Gentleman was dealing when he made his speech. He says that anyone who enters into revolutionary methods and joins a conspiracy must be expected to tell falsehoods. That may be so; and that may be, as far as it goes, an excuse in the case of a private individual. But this is not the case of a private person: it is the case of the Prime Minister of a colony, of a public servant who is bound to do his duty to those with whose affairs he is charged; and it is towards them, and not towards the other country in which he is fomenting a revolution, that he exhibits falsehood and treachery. Surely the right hon. Gentleman never intended to imply that conduct such as that was consistent with even a decent standard of honour. And can we wonder that the extraordinary exculpation of Mr. Rhodes by the Colonial Secretary obliterated the exculpation of the Colonial Secretary by the Committee, and left doubts and suspicions as to the relations of the Colonial Office with the conspirators in South Africa worse than they were? Can we wonder that it made the Report seem to the world only a great imposture and hypocrisy? I will not go into them, but there are the other cases. There is the fact of the appointment of Sir Graham Bower after the Report. The right hon. Gentleman, in answer to a question yesterday, stated that Sir Graham Bower had suffered by being for some months out of Her Majesty's service. Yes, just for those months which were necessary to allow public attention to divert itself, and to allow the incident to drop out of the public mind. When everybody had their back turned Sir Graham Bower was rewarded for the conduct he had followed in regard to these matters. It is the right hon. Gentleman who by his subsequent action has given permanence and force to a suspicion that might well have died away, thereby causing growing uneasiness among his countrymen and the necessity for maintaining, in spite of these occurrences, the good name of our country. The right hon. Gentleman made a speech to-night in which he left many points in that most remarkable speech of my hon. and learned friend the Member for Mid Glamorgan unanswered and untouched. He was vehement in his speech, but I doubt if it was the sort of speech, however natural it was on the part of the right hon. Gentleman, at all likely to lessen the suspicion that exists. That such a suspicion exists throughout the world I do not think anyone will deny. We talk of foreign opinion. [An hon. Member laughed.] Some Gentlemen laugh at foreign opinion. We know that there are foreign Governments who may be swayed by their own interests or led astray by the necessities of diplomatic exigency. There is the press of foreign countries, and myself attach little importance to opinions of the press, which may be actuated by all sorts of motives. But what I do look at is the opinion of cultivated, intelligent, educated men, and I say, without fear of contradiction, that in the opinion of such men throughout Europe the character of this country has not come quite clean out of transactions connected with the Jameson raid. There may be those who do not like to think this, and I do not like to think it myself, but I know it is true that an ugly twist has been given by it to feelings, sentiments, and prejudices in South Africa. What a relief it would be for us to wipe out the slur on our good faith—a slur which rests not only on the original suspicion, but on the idea that Parliament has not altogether been sincere in the effort to ascertain and disclose the whole truth. What a relief would it be to show to the world what it does not now believe, that, Government and people, we have no part in the iniquitous folly of 1895, and that, Government and people, we are alike anxious and determined that all the truth shall be known. Why are not the full facts made known? In whose interest is concealment? That is the test wise people will apply. Cui bono? In whose interest does it apply that there should be any remnant of concealment? If you huddle up the matter, if you stand on rules of Parliamentary precedent, and propriety, you increase suspicion in the world that there is something to conceal. I venture to make an appeal to the Government yes, after the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, which I can perfectly understand him making—it comes naturally from him but surely the Government will see in the position in which we find ourselves, in the interests of goodwill and a good understanding in South Africa, and on much higher grounds, in the interest of public life and of the public name, that even now an inquiry into the matter should be made.


The Gentlemen who from the other side of the House have addressed themselves to the question now before us may, I think, be divided into two classes—those who frankly and openly come forward and say they think the work of the Committee was badly performed and that it did not give the verdict they desired; they looked to it to condemn my right hon. friend near me, and inasmuch as the Committee failed in that primary duty the verdict must be revised; and, on the other hand, hon. and right hon. Gentlemen who were members of that Committee, and who in speaking in this House have not made up their minds whether they are defendants or accusers, whether they are threatened with an indictment to which they have but a poor reply, or whether they are themselves joining in the attack upon my right hon. friend, but who are prepared apparently to go into the lobby with those who in their speeches have not concealed their contempt for the procedure pursued by those right hon. Gentlemen or their mistrust of the motives by which they were actuated, or at all events of the procedure they followed. It is not my business to defend the proceedings of the Committee. I have a much franker sympathy with the party attack made by hon. Gentlemen upon my right hon. friend; that was open, it was perfectly candid, there was no concealment about it. They meant to go for an individual, and they went for him, and they did not huddle up their design under any of the excuses which have figured so largely in the speeches of the two right hon. Gentlemen and others who have spoken on the other side. Let me deal first, in the very few moments that are left to me, very briefly with the personal attack which has been made on my right hon. friend. I am aware that that personal attack has been deliberately repudiated by almost every speaker on the other side of the House, but I do not think they believed in their own repudiation; I am quite sure the House did not believe in their repudiation, and I am even more certain that the country will not believe in it. I will give a perfectly conclusive proof of the fact that that repudiation was, after all, merely a rhetorical artifice. What is the motion put before the House to-night? It is for a new inquiry. It is only, therefore, in relation to a new inquiry that any argument is relevant. And yet at least half, or at any rate a very large fraction, of the speeches both of the mover and the seconder and of the right hon. Member for West Monmouth, who followed my right hon. friend, and of the Leader of the Opposition, who has just sat down, was devoted to a speech of the Colonial Secretary in relation to Mr. Rhodes, out of which it is impossible to extract by any ingenuity any ground for a new inquiry into the circumstances of the raid. My right hon. friend might have been guilty of all that is said against him in relation to that speech—for my part I can certainly say that I do not associate myself with those charges—he might have defended a man incapable of defence, he might have used epithets about that man which ought not to have been used—is that a ground for a new inquiry? Is a Select Committee again to be appointed by this House, is that Select Committee to sit for six months, is it to examine witness after witness, because my right hon. friend made three years ago a speech, not replied to at the time, which does not happen to suit the rhetorical palate of hon. Gentlemen opposite? If anything would show how hollow are the arguments urged for this new Committee, if any argument were required to show that a personal motive, and a personal motive alone, lies at the root of this attack, it would be the fact that so much of the speeches of hon. Gentlemen opposite has been devoted to a topic which by universal confession can supply no motive whatever for so important a change of policy as a retrial by this House of a subject which has already been tried at great length by a Committee of extraordinary importance, and drawn with absolute impartiality from both sides of the House.

SIR JOHN BRUNNER () Cheshire, Northwich

What about the nominees of the Chartered Company?


What about the nominees of the Chartered Company? Does the hon. Member realise the ordinary practice which regulates the formation of Committees in this House? No doubt there were gentlemen on that Committee who had thoroughly made up their minds upon one side of the subject. I do not doubt it. Is it denied that there were members of that Committee on the other side who had notoriously, publicly, openly, in their own papers and in their own speeches, declared their opinion upon the other side? And is it the hon. Gentleman's idea of fairness that to constitute a Committee you should appoint those only who have declared their opinions on one side and exclude absolutely those who have declared their opinions on the other side? [An HON. MEMBER: On neither side.] Quite so; a. very good plan, not the plan commonly adopted by this House, but, in my opinion, a very good plan and the plan recommended by my right hon. friend the Colonial Secretary. That was what he desired, what he recommended, what he wished to see carried into effect; and his wish was only foiled by the deliberate desire, which I do not complain of, of the leaders of the Opposition to see the common Parliamentary practice carried out by which all the interests concerned on one side and on the other are equally represented on a Committee which tries them. That may be a bad plan—I think in this case it was a bad plan—but it was not a plan for which the Government were responsible, and it was not a plan which hon. Gentlemen oppisite can criticise us for not having carried into effect. I do not interfere in this debate as a member of the Committee, because I did not belong to the Committee, but rather to give my opinion, because it is of great importance that the House should not start so serious a precedent as that which we are now recommended to start on the present occasion—by which, three or four years after a case is thoroughly thrashed out. [Several HON. MEMBERS: No, no!] On this point I do not wish to enter into controversy. I will withdraw the word "thoroughly" and say, after a case has been discussed for six months in a Parliamentary Committee, after the Committee has reported, and after the Members both of the Government and the Opposition have agreed to the Report of that Committee, the question should be re-tried. We have often had discussions in this House as to whether you should have a court of criminal appeal against a verdict of guilty; but the hon. Gentleman opposite, wants to start a court of appeal against a verdict of acquittal, hoping against hope, that whatever the verdict may be it may settle a controversy which was not settled by an equally constituted Committee three years ago.


I feel, Sir, I am entitled to say why I have brought forward this motion on the present occasion.


The hon. Member is not entitled to make another speech. Does the hon. Member wish to correct a misstatement.


Yes, Sir. I have brought forward this motion now because it is the first opportunity I have had in the ballot to bring it forward.


I have no doubt that the hon. Member has, since 1897, been assiduously balloting Tuesday after Tuesday in order to find an opportunity of attacking my right hon. friend, but I am afraid success has come to him too late. I was not referring to the hon. Member, but to the House itself, and I say that for this House, having appointed a Committee with the consent and approval of the Opposition, whose general proceedings were managed by the Opposition, to re-open the whole question now, with the same machinery, would be to make our whole Parliamentary procedure a farce. My right hon. friend who spoke last but one said that he was disappointed with the procedure of the Committee, but when some hon. Gentleman or right hon. Gentleman is disappointed with the procedure of a Committee of this House are we to go through the whole ceremony again—to reappoint the Committee and examine witnesses in order that the disappointment may be mitigated or removed? That brings me to the real and important question, which is whether the result of the new Committee, if appointed, would have the excellent effect so sanguinely anticipated by right hon. and hon. Gentlemen. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouth told the House that he believed every word uttered by my right hon. friend the Colonial Secretary on the subject, and that he had no suspicion of my right hon. friend's conduct in connection with this affair—he accepted his word absolutely. His solitary desire was to get rid of certain misconceptions which had fastened themselves upon the mind of this country, and which had influenced public opinion and the press abroad. I think the right hon. Gentleman and those who followed him in the same line have paid very little attention to that important branch of political study known as the "natural history of a lie." If you start a calumny, and if it is sedulously fostered by those who are interested in its propagation, do you think that the simple machinery of a Parliamentary Committee is going to bring it to an end.

MR. BRYN ROBERTS (Carnarvonshire,) Eifion

Suppression of inquiry will not bring it to an end.


No, of course not; but the question is whether another Committee sitting for six months will bring it to an end. A Committee sat for six months, of which several distinguished gentlemen on the other side were members. They had the fullest opportunity of cross-examining the witnesses called before the Committee. They had control of the whole inquiry. They examined and cross-examined whom they liked. What has been the result? It has not killed calumny against my right hon. friend. Are we to suppose that a fresh inquiry started under the same auspices, and carried on with the same machinery, would have a, more favourable effect? There was the fullest machinery, and it did not result in the suppression of various falsehoods. Why a new Committee should be more fortunate in its ultimate result I am unable to see. The Leader of the Opposition and the right hon. Member for West Monmouth say this is a, question of European importance; it appears Europe at large is interested in it; Europe at large is panting for the truth; Europe at large is not satisfied with the inquiry which sat for six months, and Europe at large would be satisfied with a fresh enquiry. We in this country have, unfortunately, been accustomed to our statesmen being misrepresented by foreign opinion and the foreign press, but this is the first time I have ever heard it suggested that the English Mouse of Commons, in order to clear British statesmen in the eyes of the foreign press, should appoint such a Committee as that asked for.


I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman is referring to anything I said, but I particularly said that I did not attach any importance to the press.


I will substitute foreign opinion for foreign press, which I suppose represents foreign opinion. Then the right hon. Gentleman desires a Committee of the House of Commons to rehabilitate British statesmen in foreign opinion. I think we may look back to the memory of English statesmen who were perpetually calumniated abroad as a sufficient ground for rejecting such a course. Pitt and Palmerston were attacked in the bitterest manner abroad; no calumny was too bitter to urge against them, but I never heard the appointment of a Committee of this House suggested in order that Continental opinion should be converted upon the subject of gentlemen whose character is as dear to us as the character of the statesmen of Continental countries are to them. It is evident this is a

personal attack. I do not think my right hon. friend need have anything to fear from it. In my opinion those who have turned this weapon against him have misunderstood the temper of the people of this country. If there is anything calculated to turn an enemy into a friend, to turn a cool observer into an ardent supporter, to make an ardent supporter even more firm in his adherence to any British statesman, it is the feeling that that statesman is being unfairly attacked, that his political enemies are taking advantage of the situation to stab him in the back. If I have a good wish to give to my right hon. friend in the course of his political career it is that he may many times have such opponents as on the present occasion, that he may have many times to undergo such attacks as to-night. But I can assure him there is nothing which will more secure his position in the eyes of his friends, followers, and supporters than the consciousness that he has been made the victim of such calumnious assaults as he has been made the victim of on the present occasion.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 152; Noes, 286. (Division List No. 29.)

Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.) Donelan, Captain A. Langley, Batty
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Doogan. P. C. Lawson, Sir W. (Cumbrland)
Allan, William (Gateshead) Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Leese, Sir. Joseph F. (Accrington
Allison, Robert Andrew Duckworth, James Lewis, John Herbert
Ambrose, Robert Dunn, Sir William Lloyd-George, David
Ashton, Thomas Gair Ellis, john Edward Lougb, Thomas
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert H. Engledew, Charles John Lowther, Rt. Hn. James (Kent)
Austin, M. (Limerick, W.) Farquharson, Dr. Robert Lyell, Sir Leonard
Bain bridge, Emerson Farrell, James P. (Cavan, W.) Mac Donnell, Dr. MA (Queen'.C
Barlow, John Emmott Fenwick, Charles Mac Neill, John Cordon Swift
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) M'Arthur, William (Cornwall
Beaumont, Wentworth C B. Fitzmaurice, Lord Ed mond M'Crae, George
Billson, Alfred Flavin, Michael Joseph M'Dermott, Patrick
Blake, Edward Flynn, James Christopher M'Ewan, William
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Fox, Dr. Joseph Francis M'Ghee, Richard
Broadhurst, Henry Gladstone, Rt. Hon. H. John M'Kenna, Reginald
Bryee, Rt. hon. James Goddard, Daniel Ford Maddison, Fred.
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Gourley, Sir Edw. Temperley Mandeville, J. Francis
Burns, John Gurdon, Sir Wm. Brampton Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel
Burt, Thomas Haldane, Richard Burdon Morley, Charles (Breconshire)
Buxton, Sydney Charles Harrourt, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose
Caldwell, James Harwood, George Morton. Edw. J. C. (Devonport)
Campbell-Bannerman. Sir H. Hayden, John Patrick Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Carmichael, Sir T. D. Gibson- Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale- Nussey, Thomas Willans
Carvill, PatrickGeo. Hamilton Hazell, Walter O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Causton, Richard Knight Hedderwick. Thomas C. H. O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)
Cawley, Frederick Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)
Channing, Francis Holland, William Henry O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Clark, Dr. G. B. Horniman, Frederick John Oldroyd, Mark
Colville, John Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. O'Mallcy, William
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Parnell, John Howard
Courtney, Rt. Hon. L. H. Jones, William Carnarvonsh.) Pearson. Sir Weetman D.
Crean, Eugene Kay-ShuttIewortb, Rt. Hn Sir U Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Crilly, Daniel Kearley, Hudson li. Pilkington, Sir G. A. (LancsSW.
Dalziel, James Henry Killbride. Denis Power, Patrick Joseph
Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan Kinloch, Sir J. Geo. Smyth Price, Robert John
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Kitson, Sir James Priestley, Briggs (Yorks.)
Dillon, John Labouchere, Henry Randell, David
Reckitt, Harold James Stevenson, Francis S. Williams, John Carvell (Notts.
Redmond, John E. (Waterf'd) Strachey, Edward Wilson, Charles H. (Hull)
Redmond, William (Clare) Stuart, James (Shoreditch) Wilson. Frederick W. (Norfolk)
Reid, Sir Robert Threshie Sullivan, Donald (Westmeath Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Richardson, J. (Durham, S. E.) Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, W.) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Roberts. John Bryn (Eilion) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen E. Wilson, John (Govan)
Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E) Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersf'd
Samuel. J. (Stockton-on-Tees) Trevelyan, Charles Philips Woods, Samuel
Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh) Tully, Jasper Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Shaw, Charles F. (Stafford) Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S) Yoxall, James Henry
Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh.) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Smith, Samuel (Flint) Wason, Eugene TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. D. A. Thomas and Sir John Brunner.
Soames. Arthur Wellesley Wedderburn, Sir William
Steadman, William Charles Weir, James Galloway
Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir AIex. F. Disraeli. Coningsby, Ralph Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)
Aird, John Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon Hobhouse, Henry
Allhusen, Augustus Hy. E. Dorrington, Sir John Edward Hornby, Sir William Henry
Allsopp, Hon. George Doughty, George Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry
Anson. Sir William Reynell Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Honston, R. P.
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Douglas-Pennant, Hon. E. S. Howard. Joseph
Arnold. Alfred Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore Howell, William Tudor
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Drage, Geoffrey Howorth, Sir Henry Hoyle
Arrol, Sir William Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Hozier, Hon. James H. Cecil
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Elliot. Hon. A. R. Douglas Hubbard. Hon. Evelyn
Bailey, James (Walworth) Faber. George Denison Hughes, Colonel Edwin
Baird, John George Alexander Fardell, Sir T. George Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice
Baldwin. Alfred Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edwd. Jackson. Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies
Balfour, Rt Hn. A. J. (Manch'r) Fergusson. Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Man. Jebb, Richard Claverhouse
Banbury. Frederick George Field, Admiral (Eastbourne) Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick
Barnes. Frederic Gorell Finch. George H. Jenkins. Sir John Jones
Barry. Sir Francis T. (Windsor Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Jessel, Captain Herbert M.
Bartley. George C. T. Firbank. Joseph Thomas Johnston, William (Belfast)
Beach, Rt Hn Sir M. H. (Bristol) Fisher, William Hayes Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)
Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe Fitz Wygram, General Sir F. Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.
Bhownaggree. Sir M. M. Flannery, Sir Forteseue Kenyon, James
Bill, Charles Fletcher, Sir Henry Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William
Blakiston-Houston. John Flower, Ernest Keswick, William
Blundell, Colonel Henry Forster, Henry William Kimber, Henry
Bond. Edward Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) King, Sir Henry Seymour
Bousfield, William Robert Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk) Knowles, Lees
Bowles. Capt H. F. (Middlesex Foster. Sir Michael (Lond. Univ. Lafone, Alfred
Brassey. Albert Fry, Lewis Lawrence, Sir E. Durning- (Corn
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Galloway, William Johnson Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)
Brown, Alexander H. Gedge, Sydney Lea. Sir Thomas (Londonderry
Brymer, William Ernest Gibbons, J. Lloyd Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Edw. H
Bullard, Sir Harry Gibbs, Hon AGH (City of Lond. Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Butcher, John George Giles, Charles Tyrrell Leighton, Stanley
Carlile, William Walter Godson. Sir Augustus Frederick Llewelyn, SirDillwyn (Swan.)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Edward Goldsworthy, Major-General Lockwood, Rt. Col. A. R.
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Gordon, Hon. John Edward Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.) Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Goschen, Rt Hn GJ (St. George's) Lonsdale, John Browniee
Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East) Goulding, Edward Alfred Lorne, Marquess of
Cecil. Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Graham, Henry Robert Lowe, Francis William
Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Lowles, John
Chamberlain. J. A. (Worcester) Green. Walford D (Wednesbury Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury Lucas-Shadwell, William
Charrington, Spencer Gretton, John Macartney. W. G. Ellison
Chelsea, Viscount Greville. Hon. Ronald Macdona, John Cumming
Clare, Octavius Leigh Guest. Hon. Ivor Churchill Maclver, David (Liverpool)
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Gull, Sir Cameron Maclean, James Mackenzie
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Hall, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Maclure, Sir John William
Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready Halsey, Thomas Frederick M'Arthur*.Charles (Liverpool)
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Hamilton. Rt. Hon. Lord George M'IverSir Lewis (Edinburgh W.
Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford) Hanbury. Rt. Hon. Robert W. M'Killop, James
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Hanson, Sir Reginald Malcolm, lan
Cornwallis, Fiennes S. W. Hardy, Laurence Maple, Sir John Blundell
Cotton-Jodrell, Col. Edw. T. D. Hare, Thomas Leigh Marks, Henry Hananel
Cox. Irwin Edw. Bainbridge Haslett, Sir James Horner Martin, Richard Biddulph
Cripps, Charles Alfred Heath, James Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.
Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton) Heaton, John Henniker Melville, Beresford Valentine
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Helder, Augustus Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.
Curzon, Viscount, Henderson, Alexander Middlemore, J. Throgmorton
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hermon-Hodge, Robert T. Milbank, Sir P. C. John
Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham) Hickman, Sir Alfred Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Digby, Jn. K. D. Wingfield- Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampstd Milner, Sir Frederick George
Milward, Colonel Victor Rentoul, James Alexander Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Monckton, Edward Philip Richardson. SirThos. (Hartlep'l Sutherland, Sir Thomas
Monk, Charles, James Ridley. Rt. Hn. Sir Mattlhw W. Talbot. Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ
Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants) Ritchie. Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson Thorburn, Sir Walter
Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Robertson, Herb. (Hackney) Thornton, Percy M.
More, R. Jasper (Shropshire) Robinson, Brooke Tollemache, Henry James
Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm'thsh.) Rothschild. Hon. Lionel Walter Tomlinson, W. E. Murray
Morrell, George Herbert Round, James Tritton, Charles Ernest
Morrison, Walter Royds, Clement Molyneux Usborne, Thomas
Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford) Russell, Gen. F. S. (Cheltenham Verney, Hon. Richard Greville
Mount, William Geo. Russell, T. W. (Tyrone) Vincent. Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Muntz, Philip A. Rutherford, John Wanklyn, James Leslie
Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute) Ryder, John Herbert Dudley Ward, Hon. Robert A. (Crewe)
Murray, C. J. (Coventry) Samuel. H. S. (Limehouse) Warr, Augustus Frederick
Murray, Col. W. (Bath) Sandys, Lieut.-Col. T. Myles Webster, Sir Richard E.
Myers, William Henry Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Ta'nt'n
Newdigate, Francis Alexander Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col Edw. J. Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.)
Nicholson, William Graham Seely, Charles Hilton Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Nicol. Donald Ninian Seton-Karr, Henry Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Sharpe, William Edward T. Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (R'nfr'w) Williams, Joseph P.- (Birm.)
Parkes, Ebenezer Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire) Willox, Sir John Archibald
Penn, John Simeon, Sir Barrington Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)
Phillpotts, Captain Arthur Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Pilkington, R. (Lancs. Newton Skewes-Cox, Thomas Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Platt-Higgins, Frederick Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch) Wyndham, George
Plunkett, Rt Hn Horace Curzon Smith, James P. (Lanarks) Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Pollock, Harry Frederick Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Stanley. Edward J. (Somerset) Young, Commander (Berks, E.)
Pretyman. Ernest George Stephens, Henry Charles Younger, William
Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart
Purvis, Robert Stock, James Henry TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Quilter, Sir Cuthbert Stone, Sir Benjamin
Rankin, Sir James Strauss, Arthur
Rasch, Major Frederic Carne Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley